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Newspaper circulation skyrockets with hacking scandal

It’s one of the knock on effects everyone was expecting. These have been lean months for public relations agencies, what with the News of the World and News International’s hacking scandal media dominance, then the riots, high unemployment and so forth, but while they haven’t been reading the latest targeted survey, Britons on the whole have certainly been reading something.
According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for July, as originally relayed to us by media buying agency Feather Brooksbank earlier this week, there have been some astronomical gains. Daily Star Sunday was up 129.96% on June, and 90% year-on-year. In similarly good moods no doubt were staff at The People and Sunday Mirror, as both titles recorded 50% increases when compared to 12 months ago, with the latter moving into position as the country’s most popular Sunday tabloid. And, at the other end of the spectrum, the Independent On Sunday showed the most significant positive boost amongst quality papers, with increases of 10% year-on-year and 7.51% on the month.
Overall the broadsheets have a lot less to celebrate though. While just about every red top title printed on the Sabbath benefited from the UK’s appetite for details the Indy’s respective offshoot was the only high-end paper to improve when compared with 2010. Friday’s Guardian featured Mark Sweney’s analysis of these ABCs, in which he points out that the Sunday Times’ circulation has, for the first time in 59 years, dropped below the 1million mark, while Sunday Telegraph readers reduced by 0.76% year-on-year, despite a notable gain when compared with one month before. And, to give an idea of the sector’s health overall, Jenny McManus’ review of these numbers for The Drum highlights how the Sunday sector’s total circulation still fell by 8.51% overall. On the flip side though she then makes another good point, namely that you can’t close Britain’s best-selling end of week title and not expect to sell less units, and as such it will be interesting to see how things look over the next few months as the smoke begins to clear.

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