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ABCs: The stats on print versus web

Buoyant web traffic “floated the boat” of regional daily publishers – rescuing them from another dramatic downturn in print sales for the first half of 2014.

The six-monthly figures, compared with the same period last year, saw another huger uplift online which more than accounted the slide in circulation.

The Derby Telegraph put up the best overall combined performance for the end of June stats – with a massive 72pc rise in web traffic, countered with only a 9.2pc fall in their print circulation.

Online stats in the north east and north west publishing centres of Newsquest also showed sizeable increases – the Northern Echo website up 47pc, the Telegraph & Argus rose 44.6pc and the Bolton News 62.7pc.

Here are the multi-platform figures comparing print circulation and daily unique users for Johnston Press, Local World, Newsquest and the Midland News Association.

Sales UUs Change
Johnston Network 801,795 24.5pc 29,540 52.2pc
The Gazette, Blackpool 14,174 -14.2pc 12,558 5.7pc
Halifax Courier 16,747 -10.9pc 21,727 11.5pc
Lancashire Evening Post 14,902 -13.4pc 18,948 34.3pc 38,253 1.9pc
The News & Sports Mail, Portsmouth 27,954 -8.6pc 160,118 33.8pc -24.3pc
The Scotsman 27,208 32,260 56.3pc
Sunderland Echo & Football Echo 20,530 -17.9pc 44,919 26.7pc
Sheffield Star & Green ‘Un 23,238 -17.2pc 61,506 44.2pc
Yorkshire Evening Post 23,959 -17.2pc
Yorkshire 28,658 43.2pc
Yorkshire Post 31,022 -9.2pc
KM Group
Kent Online (KM Group) network 66,287 91.7pc
Local World Network (Web) 909,367 95.1pc
Bristol Post (Web) 59,624 82.9pc
The Post 25,182 -14.6pc
Cambridge News (Web) 40,326 47.5pc
Cambridge News
Derby Telegraph (Web) 50,084 72.6pc
Derby Telegraph 25,217 -9.1pc
Gloucester Citizen/Gloucestershire Echo (Web) 25,519 -4.3pc
Grimsby Telegraph (Web) 30,127 41.8pc
Hull Daily Mail (Web) 62,181 61.2pc
Hull Daily Mail 35,117 -8.3pc
Leicester Mercury (Web) 49,208 53.9pc
Leicester Mercury 35,006 -12.9pc
Lincolnshire Echo (Web) 22,465 41.6pc
Nottingham Post (Web) 53,591 41.9pc
Nottingham Post 23,533 -13.1pc
Plymouth Herald (Web) 55,400 82.3pc
The Herald, Plymouth 21,783 -13.5pc
Scunthorpe Telegraph (web) 18,412 20,715 100.9pc
South Wales Evening Post (Web) 67.2pc
South Wales Evening Post 28,477 -14.9pc
Stoke Sentinel (web) 46,570 53.6pc
The Sentinel 37,481 -10.5pc
Midland News Association Network 143,335 64.0pc 106,231 60.9pc 74.2pc
Shropshire Star 36,756 -14.7pc
Newsquest Media Group 936,909 45.5pc 55,744 42.9pc
Southern Daily Echo 22,397 -16.6pc 34,139 73.1pc
Glasgow Evening Times 33,397 -14.9pc 87,795 37.2pc
The Herald 37,728 -8.1pc
Sunday Herald 25,125 1.0pc 37,662 28.8pc
Lancashire Telegraph 13,092 -28.4pc 24,293 47.6pc 26,728 46.5pc
Oxford Mail 12,773 -22.9pc 24,748 16.8pc
Swindon Advertiser 11,987 -22.7pc 40,236 17.7pc
The Argus, Brighton 14,370 -13.5pc 35,772 62.7pc
The Bolton News 12,351 -28.8pc 43,916 47.0pc
Northern Echo 30,735 -12.7pc 39,738 40.8pc
The Press, York 19,643 -10.9pc 45,225 44.6pc
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 18,906 -12.6pc



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  • August 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I am a web fan but how much HARD CASH comes in from web and how much from papers? Anyone can play with percentages. My guess is that print is still massively propping up web. Anyone got any figures?

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  • August 27, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Sorry HTFP but a gremlin got into your stats columns – or my computer, so it was not easy to compare sales with Unique Users.

    Even so, using terms like web traffic ‘rescuing’ regional publishers and ‘huge uplifts more than accounting for the slide in circulation’ don’t hold water let alone ‘float anyone’s boat’!

    Without the stats for the revenue generated by web traffic and for newspaper sales, such sweeping statements are meaningless and shouldn’t really have got past the news editor, sub or editor on any objective publication, web or print.

    If each unique user spent £1 looking at a nib on about a fire down his street on a website rather than buying the paper that day, then the comparison could be made and legitimately trumpeted.

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  • August 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    It would be very interesting to have more information about how newspapers are monetizing their website traffic.

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  • August 28, 2014 at 8:14 am

    JP and LW have got plenty… but it’s Top Secret. Ssshhh.
    Not to be opened til Xmas (or soon after).

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  • August 28, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Dear webbedfeet – I have few hard figures but Local World’s online revenue accounts for less than 9% (£20m) of the total and that must be eaten up by the cost of maintaining its sites, etc, even though the company has just sacked its entire IT dept. The rest of the announced LW profit, then, must be from print sales as it doesn’t run events, produce marketing or advertising, or anything else to bring in cash. I agree all these big numbers online look good but in terms of paying salaries etc. all you’ll get at best if current trends continue is a harassed, low-paid “digital publisher” supported by interns and school work experience bods. Not good!

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  • August 28, 2014 at 11:51 am

    So, what do we know ?
    Product that people pay (increasing) amounts of money for and spend 20 odd minutes reading (and potentially responding to ads)….in massive decline with shocking downward trends.
    Product that is free and, for the most part, is accessed for 1 story ( that is increasingly of the quirky or football kind) in massive growth.
    Don’t panic. The bosses know what they are doing.

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  • September 1, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Digital revenues tend to be around ten per cent of newspaper revenue.
    However, these figures usually do not include a proper proportion of relevant costs from people to buildings. People will not go to look at a website if there is no news on them for example.
    If you bore this in mind, it is fair to say there will not be a profitable digital newspaper site in the country.

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  • September 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Cynic. As most hacks suspect. Digi is future but probably not much of one. Especially when weekly papers can’t be bothered to update their sites at weekends with NEWS. If digi is meant to be anything it is meant to be IMMEDIATE.

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