Sales down again, web traffic up: how long have Yorkshire’s daily papers got?

Ladybird 1Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: sales of all of Yorkshire’s daily newspapers continued to fall in the first half of this year while web traffic was way up.

It’s such a familiar story that you can copy and paste it every six months when the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) releases its latest figures, just amending the size of the fall in print and the “boost” in online.

So here are the latest amendments:

Against a backdrop of a 13.5% year-on-year fall across the UK for regional dailies, the three papers hardest hit in Yorkshire were the Doncaster Star (down 28.8% to just 1,026 sold daily) the Yorkshire Evening Post (down 17.2% to 23,959) and the Sheffield Star (down 17.2% to 23,238).


Since the second half of 2008 (the earliest detailed figures I can find without coughing up for a subscription to ABC) the ‘Sheffield Star’ and the ‘Evening Post’ have lost
HALF of their daily sales
, with Bradford’s Telegraph and Argus not far behind.

Ladybird 5Everyone has known for ages that something will have to give some time soonish – unless papers can find a way of making enough money out of giving their news and other content away for free online.

But when? How long have they got to find the magic money tree?

I thought I’d project the latest figures into the future. If print sales continue to fall at their current rate (2011-14), how many papers will be being sold in three, six, nine years time?


(projection based on % sales fall 2011-14 for each paper)

Ladybird 7

Which means, I reckon, that I’ll most likely still be cutting and pasting this story in 2017, but probably not in 2020, and definitely not in 2023.

For completists, below are the papers’ online stats for the first half of 2014.

It’s all good news, now to generate some cash …





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2 Responses to Sales down again, web traffic up: how long have Yorkshire’s daily papers got?

  1. An interesting read. I wonder how papers will start turning their online figures into revenue.

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