Sunday, 15 November 2009

Newspaper circulations continuing to fall

The latest newspaper circulation figures show a decrease in circulation of between 0.5-4.5% for all the nationals, bar the Times and the Financial Times, who should be applauded for marginal increases.

It will be interesting to see how the online figures compare - I'm sure Rupert Murdoch is especially interested as he continues to push forward his plans to charge for online content.

Either way, with circulations decreasing at this rate the industry will need to propose a blanket solution to the problems before some of the national papers follow the lead of the regionals and fold. At the very least, some may need to consider going completely online as printing millions of copies to sell less than a third is not sustainable.

The problem is that no one wants to pay per article or per paper, as competition is too intense - there will always be a free source of news.

The BBC also poses a problem as it provides top quality content for free - that's reflected in the way so many in the media are clamouring to take pot shots at the BBC.

I'd like to see a DCMS review into the future of the industry made up of an expert panel of suitable talent such as Greg Dyke, for example.

It's essential for democracy and needs to happen sooner rather than later.

P.S. the Telegraph decline is interesting. Does this show a move to online readership or does it prove that in today's media marketplace, no matter how big the scoop - MP's scandal - a reader's loyalties cannot be sustained beyond the next story...

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