NEWSPAPER ABCs: Sunday's Sun loses a quarter of launch circulation

The Sun's Sunday edition has lost a quarter of its sales since launch, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) today, with the tabloid newspaper averaging a circulation of 2.43 million in March.

The Sun: Sunday edition's circulation has fallen 24.5% since launch
The Sun: Sunday edition's circulation has fallen 24.5% since launch

According to the ABC's UK National Newspapers report for March 2012, The Sun had an average circulation of 2,426,894 for the five editions between 27 February and 1 April 2012, down 24.5% from the February figure.

News International (NI) made the shock announcement on 19 February that it was going to launch a Sunday edition of The Sun, and the one edition that was sold during the ABC's February audit had a circulation of 3,213,613.

Although the Daily Star Sunday recorded the biggest year-on-year rise in circulation in March, and has benefited from NI's closure of the News of the World since July, the launch of The Sun in February appears to have hit the paper’s circulation.

The Daily Star Sunday had an average circulation of 483,477 copies in March, up 64.7% year on year, but down 19.3% month on month, suggesting the launch of the Sunday edition of The Sun has cost the Northern & Shell paper readers.

Trinity Mirror's newspapers also appear to have suffered from The Sun's Sunday tabloid launch – both the Sunday Mirror and The People lost around a third of their circulation between February and March.

The Sunday Mirror had an average circulation of 1,106,259 in March, a decline of 30.6% compared to February 2012, but up 4.1% year on year. The People had a circulation of 463,936, down 33.8% from February and 2.9% year on year.

The Mail on Sunday, which initially benefited from the closure of the News of the World, had an average weekly circulation of 1,824,965 in March, down 3.3% year on year and 3.1% month on month.

The Independent on Sunday reported the biggest year-on-year decline in circulation of all the Sunday newspapers, down 18.5% to 124,921 copies, although this was a 0.5% increase on its circulation in February.

Guardian News & Media's Sunday newspaper The Observer also reported a double-digit decline. The paper had an average weekly circulation of 251,074 in March, down 15.2% year on year, although this was a modest 0.8% decline month on month.

The Sunday Times reported a circulation of 928,260, down 10.0% year on year and 1.3% month on month, while The Sunday Telegraph reported a circulation of 451,731, down 6.3% year on year and 2.1% month on month.

National newspaper ABC figures: Sunday titles
  Monthly Monthly Monthly Avg Circ  
  Circ Circ Circ    
Sunday Titles Mar-12 Feb-12 Mar-11 Other Multiple
        countries copies
Daily Star 483,477 599,078 293,489 6,415 -
The Sun 2,426,894 3,213,613 N/A 36,025 -
Sunday Mirror 1,106,259 1,594,293 1,063,096 23,808 -
The People 463,936 701,246 477,815 14,247 -
Sunday Express 503,985 567,800 533,192 13,998 -
The Mail on 1,824,965 1,882,469 1,888,040 84,539 100,642
Independent 124,921 124,260 153,183 438 54,882
on Sunday          
The Observer 251,074 253,022 296,023 - -
The Sunday 451,731 461,280 481,941 9,594 -
The Sunday 928,260 939,395 1,031,727 42,150 -

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