Telegraph subscription offer reverses ABC fall

The Telegraph’s subscription offer is understood to be boosting its circulation by 200,000 copies a day, helping it buck the trend in December’s Audit Bureau of Circulations figures.

It had been believed the discount subscription deal accounted for only 100,000 copies a day.

December’s ABC – traditionally a slow month for newspaper sales – showed The Daily Telegraph hitting an eight-year high of 1,132,298, up 2.7 per cent month on month. The Sunday Telegraph’s circulation rose 3.1 per cent month on month to 865,133.

The deal precipitated The Telegraph’s dispute with the ABC and The Times over publication of the subscription figure separate to its overall circulation (MW December 20 1996).

Observers believe because the offer is signing people up for an average of 46 weeks, it is attracting those who already buy the title. If that is the case the 1.50-a-week offer could be costing The Telegraph 430,000 a week in lost cover price revenue.

The Telegraph claims its offer is being targeted at irregular readers of the paper. It has a direct mail database of 5 million names compiled by development director Tony Coad.

The Times and Sunday Times circulations fell the most in December after the boost they received from their Eurostar promotion. The Times fell 14 per cent month on month, while The Sunday Times fell 10.4 per cent.

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