New circulation figures show that the number of papers sold by the major dailies continues to slide. In 2007, the big three (Herald, Dom, Press) published 384,037 papers a day on average each. Now, that’s down to 358,047. Last year alone, circulation fell nearly 24,000 or 6%.
Of more importance for papers’ revenue than circulation is their readership, which they use to set ad rates. This is determined by a large survey but something seems to be very wrong with it. Last year, the readership apparently decreased just 1%. Not only are we supposedly sharing one paper between 2.93 of us but that is up (for no reason) from 2.78 last year. Hilariously, we’re meant to believe that 3,000 more people are reading the Dom even though they’re printing 6,000 fewer papers.
If these trends circulation and readership trends continue, by 2208 the 152,747 of us still reading the newspaper will be crowded round a single copy of the Herald. What are the odds you’ll get to do the sudoko amongst all that lot? A vision of a dark future, that’s for sure.
In all seriousness, things are looking rough and they just got rougher with Fairfax announcing a loss of nearly half a billion in the last half year, down from a profit of $200 mil in the first half of last year. Expect APN and Fairfax to cut more journo jobs. It’s the equivalent of asset-stripping for the print media, but that’s what you do when your industry’s dying.