ABC reveals Telegraph subs levels

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.

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

International.



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

copies.



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.’



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