The extent to which the Telegraph Group’s two national newspapers
rely on the group’s costly discounted subscriptions scheme was revealed
last week, with the inclusion of a new subscription sales category in
the monthly Audit Bureau of Circulations figures.
ABC figures for June show that a quarter of the Daily Telegraph’s
circulation relied on subscriptions during that month. Its subscription
sales are certified as 275,992 out of a total sales figure of 1,090,515.
This compares with the Times’s subscription sales of 16,503 on total
sales of 735,714. The Sunday Telegraph’s subscriptions are running at
272,810 out of a 853,956 sale.
The revelation has sparked a battle between the Telegraph and News
While the Telegraph is using the figures to highlight the level of
’loyalty’ to its papers, NI says they show the strength of the Times’s
newsstand sales - and the fact that, if subscription sales are taken
out, the Daily Telegraph’s lead over its rival narrows to 30,000
Ignoring the possible implications of the Times’s 10p cover price on
Mondays, NI claims that the new figures, which are of ’fundamental
importance’ to media buyers, show the new ’full-rate sales column is a
proper representation of normal, full-price sales at the newsstand’.
The introduction of the subscriptions data was suggested by the
Telegraph as a way of settling out of court its spat over circulations
with NI and the ABC (Campaign, 4 July). The Telegraph’s managing
director, Jeremy Deedes, said: ’There is greater transparency now. NI
has got what it’s been after. However, it is giving away the Times on
Monday, which obfuscates the Tuesday-Friday sale.’
Media buyers believe that the new category, and the extent to which the
Telegraph relies on discounted sub-scriptions, could influence their
buying decisions. One senior media buyer said: ’People who are buying at
full price are potentially of more value.’