Official figures show Irish News sold 11 million papers in 2016

THE Irish News sold 11 million newspapers last year – easily outstripping all other locally-produced Northern Ireland titles.

Figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), which monitors the sale of every publication in Britain and Ireland, show that in the second half of last year (July-December), The Irish News had an average overall daily circulation of 35,073 – down 848 copies (or 2.4 per cent) on the previous six-month period. 

Some 34,880 of our papers were actively purchased [that’s the official ABC measure which shows customers paying the full cover price].

The Belfast Telegraph’s headline circulation from July to December was 40,042, down 1,870 copies (or 4.5 per cent) on the previous period.

However, it freely gives away or discounts more than 10,000 papers every day, and its ‘actively purchased’ total came in at 30,045 - that’s nearly 5,000 fewer sales a day than The Irish News.

The News Letter’s overall circulation (Jul-Dec) was 15,475, down 921 copies (5.6 per cent). At full price, it sold 15,365 over the period.

Translated into full-price sales, The Irish News sold 10,917,440 papers in 2016.

The corresponding figures for the Belfast Telegraph and News Letter are 9,434,130 and 4,824,610 respectively.

The ABC report comes in the wake of figures from newspaper industry monitoring body the Target Group Index (TGINI 2016), which showed that The Irish News was the only paper in the north to have increased its readership in the year to last September, with a 3.9 per cent rise.

Our biggest gains came in the 15-to-24-year-old age bracket, where the paper added 13,000 readers. Irish News marketing manager John Brolly said: “We continue to have a hugely strong footprint in the local newspaper market as a result of our excellent daily coverage across the areas of news, sport, business, education, health, lifestyle and opinion.

“These latest numbers from the ABC again underline our position as the leading Belfast-based daily.”