Sun-Herald print circulation falls again as video streams recover

Sunday newspaper the Sun-Herald has continued its circulation plunge in the latest set of audience data from Fairfax Media.

According to the numbers for August, the paper fell by 23% again – with its circulation dropping to 326,357 from 424,053 at the same time a year before. The 23% fall is similar to the one the newspaper experienced in June.

In part the fall follows a change to Fairfax’s circulation strategy to remove unprofitable copies of the Sun-Herald from its circulation. This also included a cover price increase. However, key elements of the recent relaunch of the newspaper have since been reversed. Its move to an image led, feature-style cover has been dropped in recent weeks, and a pullout TV guide was quickly reinstated after being dropped.

Meanwhile, the Saturday edition of the Sydney Morning Herald fell by 18% to 266,984. Monday to Friday circulation fell by 15% to 161,881.

In Melbourne, The Saturday Age dropped by 19% to 221,949; The Sunday Age dropped by 18% to 187,622 and the weekday edition of The Age dropped by 16% to 162,827.

After a number of drops, the upward trend for video streams resumed, with delivering 6m video streams, up 7% and 3.8m, up 16%.

Monthly page views of mobile sites were up by 58% in Sydney and 72% in Melbourne.

The company says it now has an average of 45,836 daily tablet viewers of the SMH and 42,743 for The Age.

In Sydney there are just under 60,000 daily copies of digital replica editions being consumed, with just over 30,000 in Melbourne.

The above numbers are based on publisher’s statements rather than audited data.

Monthly data (click to enlarge):

fairfax metro audience report august 2012





  1. Steve
    28 Sep 12
    12:54 pm

  2. Does anyone have view/facts on how much of drop is due to pulling freebies versus real reader decrease?

  3. OJ
    28 Sep 12
    5:54 pm

  4. Perhaps the rise in Fairfax’s video streams is due to their annoying habit of automatically starting whether you want to view a video or not.

    Although they have a feature to turn this off your computer doesn’t always remember and it really puts me right off clicking on a story that may feature a video. I’ve heard others say the same.

    Fairfax should re-think this feature which few other newspapers have. Customers will eventually tire of being forced to view.

  5. Cogito
    1 Oct 12
    9:48 pm

  6. It’s bad. But not as bad as you say. If its down x% year on year one quarter and the same the next quarter then it’s fall is unchanged until you get to the next year. Not as you say down again.