Telegraph’s circulation to dip below 1 million as bulk samples are cut

The Daily Telegraph’s circulation is expected to fall below 1 million for the first time in several years following the Telegraph Group’s plans to reduce the number of copies printed for bulk sampling.

The Telegraph Group plans to cut the extra copies of The Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph that are printed for free distribution and the foreign market. These figures are included in the Audited Bureau of Circulations (ABCs) monthly circulation figures. The move has been welcomed by media buyers – in the past they have called for more transparency regarding circulation when negotiating ad rates.

A spokesman for the Telegraph Group says: “With current sampling exercises costing millions of pounds annually, the Telegraph Group believes this money can be better invested in developing and marketing its newspapers and to build further their fully-paid circulations.” However, the Telegraph will continue to sample “where it sees a genuine marketing opportunity”, including in-flight airline copies.

The August average net circulation for The Telegraph was 1,003,697. The bulk sales were recorded at 58,401 – which indicates 5.82 per cent of the total circulation figure.

Guardian Newspapers managing director Carolyn McCall says the Telegraph is merely planning to better target its sampling and adds: “It is a policy that our newspapers have followed for years.” August bulk sales for The Guardian made up 4.18 per cent of its total average net circulation.

The broadsheets have all raised their cover price in recent weeks after a nine-year price war.

September’s ABC figures are expected next week.

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