ABCs: Fairfax Media’s weekly titles continue to decline as The Australian grows digital subscribers

Fairfax Media’s The Sydney Morning Herald has seen its Monday to Friday print circulation slip further away from the 100,000 figure while News Corp rival The Daily Telegraph remains well above the 200,000 mark.

According to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the SMH saw its circulation decline year-on-year by 8.7% from shifting an average of 104,833 copies each weekday July to September period of last year to just 95,733 copies in the same time this year.

The newspaper saw its weekly circulation fall below 100,000 in the March to June period when it dropped to 98,472.

Fairfax Media’s The Age saw its weekday circulation drop below 90,000 for the first time after a decline of 9.3%.

The newspaper dropped from 97,014 in July-September 2015 to 87,979.


The declines for Fairfax Media’s mastheads come as their weekly future in print hangs in the balance with the publishing company stating that it is “inevitable” that the Monday to Friday editions of The SMH and The Age will be axed.

While speculation suggested the publisher would move ahead with the drastic decision before the year is out, no move has been made yet suggesting a timeline won’t be put in place for phasing out the weekly print products until next year.

Meanwhile, News Corp’s Sydney metro The Daily Telegraph also saw its Monday to Friday circulation slide, down 7.1% year-on-year from 251,710 to 233,857.

Its Melbourne masthead the Herald Sun saw its circulation slide by 5.3% from 333,235 to 317,517.

Amongst the national newspapers, The Australian saw its weekly circulation slide by 3.6% from 101,040 last year to 97,419 this year.

However it still boasts more than twice the circulation of Fairfax Media’s Australian Financial Review which saw its circulation slide by 9.2% from 52,892 to 48,009.

The Weekend Australian posted a circulation of 220,945, down 1.2% from last year’s circulation of 223,526 while the weekend edition of The Australian Financial Review saw its circulation slip below 50,000 for the first time after a drop of 9.8%.

It was more positive news for The Australian’s digital subscriptions which were up 10.4% year-on-year and 2.2% on the March to June quarter.

The national broadsheet reported 80,722 digital subscribers for the quarter, up from 73,118 compared to the July to September period in 2015 and up from the 79,018 it reported during March to June this year.

It was similar figures for subscribers to the Weekend Australian, up from 73,204 last year to 80,845.

News Corp’s Herald Sun also saw its digital subscriptions grow, up 18% year-on-year from 63,615 last year to 75,067. Compared to the March to June quarter it was an increase of 2.2%, up from 73,470.

The West Australian reported it had 16,528 digital subscriptions, up from 14,664 in the March to June period and compared to July to September last year, it was up from 7,959.

Fairfax Media no longer report digital subscriber figures.


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