Midmarket papers enjoy royal wedding circulation honeymoon

National midmarket newspapers can thank the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for boosting their circulations in April as the royal wedding reversed the fortunes of previous months.


The national midmarket sector was up 2.84% month on month, while the Sunday midmarket saw circulations rise 4.51% in April, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures.

The Daily Mail was up 2.97% month on month to 2,100,300, but down 1.66% year on year. Daily Express circulation rose 2.41% month on month to 635,576 and is down 6.59% year on year.

Both titles were reported to have discussed a potential merger at the start of the month.

Despite heavy royal wedding coverage, the two long bank holiday weekends in the period disrupted consumer buying patterns, with both the popular and the quality press reporting flat circulations for April.

The Daily Mirror was the only tabloid title to report a circulation increase in April. The newspaper was up 1.46% month on month to 1,172,785 and down 5.76% year on year.

The Sun’s circulation declined 1.23% month on month to 2,783,110 and down 4.31% year on year. The Daily Star also fell and was down 1.01% month on month to 692,157.

In the quality market, The Independent’s sister 20p title i, which recently launched a Saturday edition, dropped 5.99% month on month to 161,151 following a hiatus of national TV marketing. The Independent’s circulation also fell, down 0.65% month on month to 180,743 and 2.89% year on year.

The Daily Telegraph marked the biggest monthly circulation increase in the quality market but it also has one of the largest yearly declines. The paper was up 2.10% to 639,578 but is down 8.78% year on year.

The Guardian continues to struggle year on year but saw a slight boost in April. Circulation rose 1.07% month on month to 263,907 but the paper is down 9.27% year on year.

The Times was up 0.83% month on month to 449,809 but is down 12.67% year on year.

The Sunday Express marked a successful April, with blanket royal wedding coverage and supplements. The title was up 12.84% month on month to 601,666.

The Mail on Sunday also rose month on month , up 3% to 1,944,724.

In the Sunday quality market, The Sunday Telegraph was up 5.73% month on month to 509,557. The Observer also marked a small rise, up 2.35% to 302,975. The Independent on Sunday’s circulation rose 0.68% to 154,277.

Times newspapers considered to suffer in the Sunday market, with the Sunday Times down 1.31% to 1,018,215 – dangerously close to falling below 1 million.

The Sunday popular market stayed relatively flat in the period, but the News of the World saw a circulation decrease.

The News International-owned title, that admitted its journalists had hacked celebrities’ phones at the start of April, was down 2.18% month on month to 2,606,397. The red top is now down 7.84% year on year.

Like its weekly title, The Sunday Mirror also marked a slight resurgence in April. Circulation rose 3.23% to 1,097,434 month on month, but the paper is still down 5.23% for the year.

The Daily Star on Sunday was up 5.37% month on month to 309,237.

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