More bad news as print sales of Yorkshire papers continue to slide

Today's YEP

Today’s YEP

Sales of all of Yorkshire’s daily newspapers continued to fall in the first half of this year, according to figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulation.

Double digit year-on-year falls were recorded at the Bradford Telegraph and Argus (down 10.4% to 21,641), the Yorkshire Evening Post (down 14.4% to 28,946), the Sheffield Star (down 20% to 28072) and the Doncaster Star (down 25.4% to 1,441).

To put the figures into context, under five years ago the Evening Post was selling 49,000 copies a day. That’s 20,000+ readers (plus the associated sales revenue) that have either been lost or gone online.

It’s not a Yorkshire thing, of course. Sales of regional dailies were down year-on-year an average 10% across the UK. Only one paper recorded an increase, the Paisley Daily Express.

“Good progress”

JP chief exec Ashley Highfield

JP chief exec Ashley Highfield

The print circulation figures only tell part of the story these days, especially for our two Leeds papers, the YEP and the Yorkshire Post, whose owners Johnston Press took the “digital first” route for its 203 papers 18 months ago.

Coincidentally, the JP group announced its figures for the first six months of the year earlier today … and reported “good progress”: by 2015 one in three readers will be accessing the group’s papers on a mobile or tablet; digital revenues are up 13%; and like-for-like operating profits are also up.

That’s the good news.

The less good is that 1) overall revenue at the group has fallen by nearly 10% 2) total advertising revenue is down 13.6% and 3) digital revenue still only represents 8% of the group’s total income.

You can see the latest figures for how our Leeds and Bradford dailies’ are doing online here.

In the meantime here are the print sales stats.

A couple of firsts: it’s the first time the YEP’s daily print sales have slipped under 30,000 a day, and the first time that no Yorkshire paper has been able to muster 40,000 print sales a day.

A sad state of affairs.

aug 201 paper sales

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3 Responses to More bad news as print sales of Yorkshire papers continue to slide

  1. Techno says:

    When you look on the website of the YEP the “most read” and “most commented” stories are always about Leeds United.

    They should just stop bothering to publish anything unless it has something to do with Leeds United.

  2. Spock's Brain says:

    @techno raises some interesting points re YEP – sport does appear to be a big driver of traffic to the site. I wonder what you’d be left with if you took LUFC and the Rhinos away?

    I don’t believe that people aren’t interested in local news.

    My issue is that much of the news content just isn’t relevant to me or what I perceive to be life in Leeds. Reporters don’t seem to have the time or inkling to cover local community stuff any more – the result is that the content’s mostly crime, on-diary and PR-based stuff. They’ve had two municipal reporters this year alone and, from Monday, their third editor in two years.

    There’s a disconnect with the reader and the product for me.

    There are lots of online storytelling tools available, but it seems we’re left with lifts from the paper on many occasions (and guys, have you ever heard of actually forging a link in your articles?).

    I know it’s a period of transition for local media, but I just wish some bugger with a tonne of money would come in and launch against the JP titles and show ‘em how it’s done.

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