The quality sector saw a boost in average net circulation in May on the previous month by 2.56% but a fall for the six months December to May 2010 of 11.62%. The popular press also saw a drop of 0.45% month on month and 2.79% for the six months, year on year.
Eyes will be on the circulation of News International’s Times and the Sunday Times as the publisher prepares to enact a pay wall around the respective websites. There is speculation that the pay wall might drive up newspaper circulation, as a subscription to the newspapers gives access to the websites.
The Times saw the smallest uplift out of the quality sector in May with a jump of 1.65% to 515,379. The Sunday Times dropped 1.53% to 1,117,749.
The Guardian, which has been an advocate of free content on the web, saw circulation rise 4% in May to 300,472 but is still down 14.64% for the six months, period on period. The Telegraph, which has just parted company with editor-in-chief Will Lewis, saw a 2.23% rise to 698,456.
The Independent, which saw a sizeable marketing and sampling campaign under its new owner Alexander Lebedev, managed a 3.39% jump to 194,501.
The circulation of The Financial Times jumped 3.43% to 399,862.
Speculation suggests the popular press are about to enter a new cover price battle as The Daily Star and The Sun fiercely price promote across the summer, while the Daily Mirror stands by its 45 p cover price. The Star saw its circulation stay flat in May at 822,394 while The Sun fell 0.67%, to 2,936,099, the second month running that its circulation has dipped below 3m this year. The Daily Mirror fell 0.12% to 1,238,145. Year on year for the period the Daily Mirror fell the most, with a 7.69% drop.
The mid-market has barely moved with the Daily Mail down 0.27% to 2,090,469 and the Daily Express down 0.32% to 663,627.
The Sunday titles fell across all sectors with the mid-market taking the biggest hit, down 2.66%. The Mail on Sunday dropped 3.27% to 1, 918, 512 while the Sunday Express fell 1.06% to 568,247.
Two of the quality titles actually saw a rise in May with the recently relaunched Observer up 2.55% to 340,247 and The Sunday Telegraph up 0.52% to 512,819. The Independent on Sunday fell 2.36% to 164,188 and The Sunday Times dropped 1.53% to 1,117,749.
The popular Sunday titles were fairly resilient overall with Daily Star Sunday up 2.57% to 357,130 and the Sunday Mirror up 2.14% to 1,148,107. The News of The World dipped 1.62% to 2,858,727.