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ABC figures: publisher reaction

Yesterday, the ABC released its national newspaper figures for June 2016.

Below are statements by the following publishers: The Guardian & The Observer, i, The Independent, Mirror Online, Newsworks and The Times & Sunday Times.

The Guardian & The Observer

Guardian reports outstanding digital and print ABC figures in June

The Guardian is reporting record digital traffic for June and increases in print sales for both the Guardian and The Observer, according to ABCs released yesterday.

The Guardian is reporting record digital traffic for June and increases in print sales for both the Guardian and The Observer, according to ABCs released today. All previous digital traffic records were broken with over one billion pages views for the first time in a calendar month, and a record 167 million monthly unique browsers.

The Brexit live blog was a standout performer across all regions as readers remained glued to the blog for rolling, informative and reliable news - making it our single most read article ever with over ten million page views. Traffic to the blog peaked between 4- 5am UK time on 24 June as the results became clear. This surge in traffic contributed to making 24 June the highest traffic day ever according to internal analytics. The strong domestic news agenda was reflected in the other top performing pieces as readers searched for meaningful, intelligent analysis and clear reporting around the Brexit debate, rolling results and subsequent political fallout.

British politics dominated the most-read pieces across all regions, but audiences in the US also showed great interest in the debate following the sentencing of the Stanford student for sexual assault.

Mobile usage increased significantly month-on-month by 21%, taking the total percentage of mobile traffic to the Guardian to over 62% for June. All device types saw year-on-year increases for traffic with mobile seeing the largest rise of 46%.

In print both the Guardian and The Observer saw increases in sales month-on-month as a strong domestic news agenda saw readers picking up the titles to inform and make sense of the momentous events.

The Saturday immediately after the referendum result saw a 27% increase in sold copy for the Guardian, and The Observer saw an increase of 28%. The subsequent brexit fallout continued to drive sales right through to the end of the month.

The Observer had an exceptional month outperforming the quality Sunday market with an 8.4% month-on-month increase, and a 8.3% year-on-year increase in sold copy - the strongest year-on-year increase for The Observer since 2006.

David Pemsel, chief executive of Guardian Media Group, commented: “It’s been a phenomenal month across the board as readers from all over the world have made the Guardian their destination for clarity, intelligence and up-to-the-minute news. As the events of Brexit have unfolded the Guardian’s reporting and analysis has been stalwart and insightful, which is evident by the record number of page views, browsers and the increase in print sales.”

Digital ABCs:

Monthly unique browsers (including off-platform)

167,185,444 (+8.9% MoM)

Daily average unique browsers (including off-platform)

10,304,181 (+15.5% MoM)

Monthly page impressions (including off-platform)

1,170,141,743 (+20.4% MoM)

Print ABCs:


Guardian sale 171,723 copies up 3.6% MoM or 6,021 copies

up 0.3% YoY or 505 copies

The Observer sale 205,007 copies up 8.4% MoM or 15,916 copies

up 8.3% YoY or 15,728 copies


i's continued sales growth boosts market share under Johnston Press ownership

In its third consecutive month of growth under Johnston Press ownership, Britain’s first and only concise quality newspaper i has delivered a circulation rise of 2.97% month on month from 285,734 to 294,223 for June, according to the latest ABC figures released yesterday. The significant increase represents a 7.6% year on year rise on the same period in 2015.

i's growing circulation under the ownership of Johnston Press since 10th April, has also seen it grow its market share by 2%. This increase comes following a Saturday sales record for the title on 25th June with a peak of 309,990, up 24% year on year.

The figures benefit from an increase at the end of June amid heightened political uncertainty for Britain, following the EU Referendum outcome and the turbulent Tory leadership race. Daily circulation for the period consistently surpassed 300,000, with a high of 310,141 on Tuesday 28th June. That day’s front page carried the headline: Boris: PM in 9 weeks…unless Tories can unite around a rival.

This continued circulation growth around major political milestones for Britain underlines the strengthened desire for i's trademark quality, impartial and informative journalism among readers. It is also testament to the vital role played by print media among readers seeking facts and balanced coverage at such a crucial time in their country’s history.

Oliver Duff, editor at i, said: "The public's appetite for quality journalism in the aftermath of the Brexit vote is unsated. Readers want insightful, balanced coverage of the extraordinary times we are all living in, which is why more of them are turning to i. We thank our readers, loyal and new, for their support. We're excited that our concise, quality briefing is proving so popular, and look forward to building on this growth under the ownership of Johnston Press."

Richard Thomson, Content Sales Director at Johnston Press, said: “i’s on-going progress in the market, demonstrated by these figures, surpasses the growth expectations we laid out for i at acquisition, which is extremely encouraging. The consistent increase in circulation underlines how well the title knows its audience, and is also evidence of the enduring power of print, when it fulfills a genuine need among readers.”

The website also saw record traffic in the last week of June, breaking through the 1m page views per week barrier for the first time since launch on 14th April this year, reaching 1.65m page views.

The Independent

The Independent records biggest daily audience rise for the Referendum, in the UK and globally, dominating coverage on social media

The Independent has smashed all its audience records and led the market, in the UK and globally in June, a month that demonstrated the advantages of its decisive switch to digital.

In the UK, The Independent reached its highest ever monthly page views figure, 175m (+92% year-on-year and +47% month-on-month), with a total of 33m unique visitors (+79% year-on-year and +52% month-on-month).

Globally, 82m (+56% year-on-year and +33% month-on-month) unique visitors came to The Independent, generating 319m page impressions (+75% year-on-year and +33% month-on-month) globally. The number of average daily unique visitors increased by a record 72% year-on-year and 44% month-on-month to 4.4m.

Compared with ABC figures for other national publishers, The Independent:

• The biggest percentage rise in global monthly unique visitors

• The biggest percentage rise in UK monthly unique visitors

• The biggest percentage rise in global average daily unique visitors

• The biggest absolute rise in global monthly unique visitors

• The biggest absolute rise in UK monthly unique visitors

Coverage of the EU Referendum attracted more than 30m visitors, and average daily visitors to The Independent’s homepage have increased by 55% since the EU Referendum results were announced. The Independent was also named by NewsWhip as the biggest publisher globally on Facebook on the Referendum.

Indy100, The Independent’s news platform aimed at millennials, amassed 13.2m visitors in the month, beating its previous record by 74%.

Christian Broughton, Editor of The Independent, said: “In a month when bias, spin and plain lies consumed the news agenda and other media outlets, The Independent’s core values shone through. We have always been committed to explaining the big issues that grip the world, with passion, insight and authority, resolutely resisting party political bias. We speak to the subjects people really care about, with passion and an approachable language that connect with millions – both ‘classic’ Indy readers and a new audience. And they come back for more.

“From Facebook to our homepage, live blogs to the comment section, The Independent is essential reading. Being digital-only allows us to focus on the platforms that really count – never has The Indy been read by so many people or set the agenda with such compelling energy.”

These figures are inclusive of The Independent Daily Edition subscription app, which saw its paying subscribers rise over the period of the Referendum.

The Independent now has an editorial team of more than 100, as a result of continued investment both in the UK and globally. Global bureaux are due to open in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, with expansion in the US continuing.

Mirror Online

Mirror Online had its best ever month in June attracting 82.1m unique browsers, a year-on-year rise of 25%. This beats the previous record of 80m set in March this year.

Pete Picton, Editorial Director for Mirror Online, said: “Politics and sport are key areas of growth for us. So it’s encouraging to see them break records.

"The EU Referendum and Euro 2016 were two big traffic drivers, with stories under these tags contributing around 17m unique browsers.

“Coverage of the tournament in France and our popular rolling transfer news blogs helped our sports section achieve its biggest ever monthly audience of 18.8m unique browsers.

“We continue to build a loyal audience for our politics news. There was a real feeling of uncertainty in the days after the Brexit vote and our numbers show people turned to Mirror Online as a trusted news source for politics during this period."


ABC: National newspapers enjoy 2.7 million uplift in June

Latest ABC data shows 90,000 extra newspapers were sold each day in June, amid a busy news month which saw the UK vote to leave the EU, the ensuing political fallout and the 2016 Euros.

The official ABC figures for June 2016 show that the UK national newspaper market enjoyed an uplift in sales of around 90,000 average copies a day, meaning more than 2.7 million extra papers were sold in June compared with May.

The weekend titles did particularly well as people turned to trusted newsbrands for informed opinion and analysis, with Sunday newspaper titles selling an average of more than 111,000 copies each weekend.

While digital numbers are consistently growing, last month saw a huge swell in unique browsers with the UK newspaper market up 11% month on month and 31% year on year, as readers sought reliable up-to-date news content.

A survey of 500 UK adults shows that of those who bought a newspaper more often in June, 63% said they did so because “there was a lot more news out there” and 54% said they “wanted more detailed analysis”.

Rufus Olins, CEO of Newsworks, said: “Readers have always turned to newspapers at times of national significance and continue to do so. The latest ABC data confirms newspapers’ continued influence throughout Brexit and beyond.”

Simeon Adams, partner at Goodstuff, said: “In uncertain times people are clearly still turning to trusted news sources and brands for clarity and understanding. Like it or not, the referendum has demonstrated the enduring importance and influence of a free press.”

The Times and The Sunday Times

The Times and The Sunday Times achieve record subscriptions and outperform market in ABC figures released yesterday

The Times and The Sunday Times have achieved their highest ever number of subscribers in a record month which also sees both titles outperforming the market in month-on-month and year-on-year sales, according to ABC figures released yesterday.

At the end of June 2016, there were 413,600 subscribers to The Times and The Sunday Times, an impressive rise of 3.4% since June 2015. 182,500 of these subscriptions are digital only, an increase from 172,000 last year.

The Times enjoyed a print sale of 449,151 in June 2016, which is a month-on-month growth of +2.5% and a year-on-year growth of +15.3%. The Times sold an average of 10,992 extra copies per day in June, with internal figures showing that on the Saturday post-Referendum vote (25 June) an additional 102,000 copies were sold. This is the ninth consecutive month of year-on-year growth for The Times.

The Sunday Times outperformed the quality Sunday market, with a print sale of 806,000 which equates to 29,000 copies or a month-on-month growth of +3.7% and a year-on-year growth of +5.5%. More people chose to turn to The Sunday Times throughout June, than The Sunday Telegraph and The Observer combined, cementing the 13th consecutive month of market share growth for the title.

John Witherow, Editor of The Times, said: “Times readers know the value of our journalism. They come to us for our proven ability to sift fact from fiction and to publish opinion from across the political spectrum. They understand the difference between being informed and well-informed.”

Martin Ivens, Editor of The Sunday Times, said: “A 3.4% year-on-year rise in subscribers shows that more people than ever are turning to our titles as their regular source of news and opinion. The Sunday Times is the definitive read on national and international events and our readers enjoy a comprehensive understanding of the world around them. I am delighted that when people seek agenda-setting journalism, they turn to The Sunday Times.”