NEWSPAPER ABCs: The Times drops below 400,000 copies
The Times' circulation has dropped below 400,000 copies for the first time since Rupert Murdoch triggered a price war in 1993, as the daily newspaper market showed continuing decline in February.
The Times: February circulation of 397,549 copies was lowest since August 1993
The Times' daily average circulation in February was 397,549 copies, down 1.9% on January and down 10.9% on February 2011.
The last time it was lower than this was in August 1993, the month before Murdoch cut the cover price from 45p to 30p. The move boosted circulation by nearly 90,000 copies to more than 440,000, and triggered a long period of growth that took it past 800,000 copies later that decade.
In today's digital age, The Times is priced £1, the same as The Independent, and 20p cheaper than The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.
All three of its rivals were also hit by circulation falls in February, with The Guardian down 16.3% year on year to 215,988 copies.
The Independent fell 10.2% from January, and 27% from February 2011, to 105,160 copies.
This was partly due to its publisher Independent Print switching over approximately 10,000 bulk copies from the paper to its cheaper sister title i, which rose 8.7% on January to 264,432 copies.
In an update in February, News International claimed it had 119,255 digital subscribers for The Times and an average of 59,882 copies were downloaded daily on the iPad, a 35% increase since September 2011.
The push for digital subscriptions comes against background of a 9.4% year-on-year decline for the overall daily newspaper market, to 9.08 million copies in February.
In the mid market, the Daily Mail fell 6% year on year to 1,945,496 copies, while the Daily Express fell 7.4% year on year to 577,543 copies.
The Sun's new Sunday edition reported a debut ABC of 3,213,613 copies, based on its first issue on 26 February.
Follow Daniel Farey-Jones on Twitter @danfareyjones
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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