Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cut the price? Raise the price? Neither seems to work, according to the ABCs

The Daily Star lost 70,000 sales when it raised its cover price. The Sun kept its price low – and lost 70,000 copies

National newspapers' ABC audited sales figures for October arrive full of talking points and lip-chewing dilemmas. See, price matters: once the Daily Star stopped selling at 20p it lost 70,000 copies in a month. See, price doesn't always help: while the Sun hung on at 30p it lost 70,000 as well, but the 45p Mirror actually gained a couple of thousand. See, the Sunday Times, up to £2.20, has shed 3.07%: but see, too, that no Sunday rival (with the Observer 3.7% down) has made gains.

See, the Times is having a lousy run since its paywall went up in May. It sold 515,379 then, but 479,107 in October. Is that because the wall means out of sight, out of mind — or because Times readers don't like paying a pound for their fix, like everybody else?

See, the Independent, piling on 24,000 bulks in a year, (now up to 63,990 free giveaways against a mere 87,235 sold at £1) may be going free by stealth. But the rather muted launch of its little brother, i, doesn't seem to have blighted its modest sale, or that of any of its immediate competitors yet. They're all down just a bit. But see, too, that all the publicity in the world doesn't bring automatic reward: the News of the World, down 4.62% month on month and 8.24% year on year, is now the worst performing redtop around.

Source: guardian.co.uk

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