APCT: Generalist press unable to counteract the erosion of paper sales – Meios & Publicidade

The drop in paid print circulation did not save any of the generalist titles in the first nine months of 2021, a period in which virtually all publications suffered double-digit declines. The exception was Expresso, with a less expressive drop, as it fell by 2.6% compared to paid printed circulation registered in the same period of the previous year. Even with the growth in digital registered by several titles, the final balance remains negative for most publications. Only Expresso and Público are able to make up for paper breaks and achieve a positive evolution in paid circulation.

The figures released by the most recent APCT report, for the period between January and September of this year, show the difficulties faced by the Portuguese press in an attempt to counteract a trend of erosion of paper sales that had been felt for several years and that would eventually be aggravated, in the last year, with the arrival of the pandemic. Even after the reopening of the kiosks and the phase of greater restrictions on the movement of people having passed, practically all general information titles lose expression in newsstands again in the first nine months of 2021. The exception continues to be the Expresso, a title that later from having been the one that best resisted covid-19 in 2020, it now appears again as an isolated case, as it is the only generalist to grow, albeit residually, in sales in banking. The Impresa weekly sold at newsstands, on average, 52,665 copies per issue between January and September 2021, slightly more than the 52,453 copies sold at newsstands in the same period of the previous year (+0.4%).

However, the Impresa weekly, which had also been the only one to present a positive evolution of the printed circulation paid in the first semester’s report, does not escape now the falls that affect all generalists. It presents, even so, the less expressive drop, settling at 54,793 copies sold per edition, on average, in the first nine months of 2021, figures that reflect a 2.6% decrease compared to the 56,270 copies sold in the same period of 2020 but allow to maintain the status and newspaper with the highest paid printed circulation in the Portuguese market, assumed for the first time in the first half of this year.

Correio da Manhã, which has historically maintained this status over the years and sold, on average, 59,193 copies per issue between January and September 2020, now occupies the second position with 52,041 copies sold, on average, in the first nine months of this period. year. Cofina’s daily registered a drop of 12.1%. Jornal de Notícias, which continues to be the third best-selling newspaper, also shows a negative evolution. The title held by the Global Media Group drops from an average of 28,665 copies sold per issue between January and September last year to an average paid print circulation of 23,833 copies in the first nine months of 2021, a drop of 16.9%.

The downward trend extends to Público and Diário de Notícias. With an average of 11,922 copies sold per edition, Sonaecom’s daily registers a drop of 11.2% compared to the 13,431 copies sold on average in the first nine months of 2020. The title held by Global Media Group, the most punished among the daily press, retreats 18.7%, from an average of 3,466 copies sold per edition between January and September 2020 to 2,817 copies in the same period this year. However, it should be remembered that the Global Media title returned to the daily format since December 29th, so the numbers now registered in the daily circulation compare with sales figures for a weekly edition in the same period in 2020.

Overall, the figures from the latest APCT report confirm that the market is still far from recovering from the damage inflicted by the pandemic context on the sale of newspapers. Correio da Manhã, Diário de Notícias, Jornal de Notícias and Público, the four generalist newspapers audited, sold an average of 14,142 copies per edition as a whole, which represents a drop of around 13.5% in terms of circulation printed form recorded between January and September 2020, when newspaper sales were already significantly affected by the pandemic.

Among newsmagazines, the losses are around 19.4%. Despite a reduction of 10.7%, from 30,948 to 27,639 copies sold per edition, Visão maintains its leadership in the segment, assumed by the first in the first half of this year. The breakdown of Sábado contributed to this result, which sold an average of 32,867 copies per edition in the first nine months of 2020, falling to the 23,795 copies sold on average in the period between January and September of this year, which represents a drop in the order of 27 .6% for the publication held by Cofina.

Analyzing bank sales in isolation, with the aforementioned exception of Expresso, all other titles also registered a loss of expression, aggravated by restrictions on circulation that reappeared in the first quarter of this year and by the closure of some points of sale sale due to the pandemic context. Impresa’s weekly registers a 0.4% rise in sales at banking. In the opposite direction, with breaks in the order of double digits, are Diário de Notícias (-43%), Jornal de Notícias (-14.7%) and Correio da Manhã (-11%). With less accentuated falls came Visão (-8.6%), Público (-7.14%) and Sábado (-7.06%).

the digital numbers

Expresso reinforces its status as a leader in digital when its paid digital circulation reaches 48,114 in the first nine months of this year, an increase of 17.5% compared to the same period of the previous year. Público, which remains in second place in digital, closes the first nine months of this year with a digital circulation of 39,475, which compares with the 30,079 registered between January and September of last year. In addition to the two titles that stand out in paid digital circulation in Portugal, only Correio da Manhã, the fourth in paid digital circulation, also registered a positive evolution. Cofina’s daily posted growth of around 58.3%, from 1,527 to 2,417.

In the opposite direction, the two Global Media Group titles add to the paper breaks a decline in paid digital circulation in these first nine months of 2021. Jornal de Notícias, which remains the third title in paid digital circulation, drops from 7,871 for the 3,879 (-50.7%). The Diário de Notícias drops from 3,978 to 2,097 (-47.3%) between January and September this year. Among the newsmagazines, Visão, which this year assumed the leadership of the segment in print circulation, ceded, on the other hand, its position in digital. The publication edited by Trust in News sees its paid digital circulation drop 7%, to 2,345, numbers insufficient to sustain the increase achieved by Sábado, owned by Cofina, which shoots 237.6% in digital, from just 1,307 to 4,417 .

Despite the growth registered by various titles in the paid digital circulation, there are still few cases in which this increase has proved capable of offsetting the declines registered in the paid printed circulation. Expresso and Público are the only general information titles to register a positive balance, with growth also in terms of total paid circulation. In the case of Expresso, which leads in the sum of paid print circulation and paid digital circulation, with 102,907, the 2.6% decline in the former is offset by the growth in digital, with total paid circulation increasing by 5.85% in these first nine months of 2021 when compared with the numbers achieved in the same period of 2020 (97,223).

Also with a positive balance, Público compensates for the 11.2% drop in paid print circulation thanks to a 31.2% growth in digital circulation, which places the total paid circulation at 51,397, an increase of 18.1%. With a negative balance are Correio da Manhã, with 54,458 (-10.3%), Jornal de Notícias, with 27,712 (-24.2%) and Diário de Notícias, with 4,914 (-34%). In newsmagazines, also with a negative balance, Visão leads with 29,984 (-10.4%), followed by Sábado, with 28,208 (-17.5%).

Source: Meios & Publicidade by www.meiosepublicidade.pt.

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