NEWSPAPER ABCs: Observer's circulation sinks to lowest on record

The Observer has reported its lowest circulation since the start of ABC records in 1962, sinking below the 300,000 mark for the first time.

The Observer: circulation falls below 300,000
The Observer: circulation falls below 300,000

Click here to see a breakdown of March 2011 Newspaper ABC figures

The Sunday newspaper has reported a circulation of 296,023 for March, dropping 2.14% from the previous month, according to the ABC figures.

The Observer lifted its cover price from £2 to £2.20, matching The Sunday Times, on 13 March.

It is the world’s longest published Sunday newspaper, dating back to 1791.

The Guardian News & Media (GN&M) paper had teetered around the 300,000 mark in February and in December last year. However, March marks the first time it has fallen below that figure.

The rival Independent on Sunday was the only the Sunday quality title to lift its circulation last month, rising 0.3% to 153,183. This represented its highest circulation this year.

The Independent on Sunday’s figure was inflated by 52,791 bulk copies – those which newspaper groups sell for a nominal fee to airlines, hotels and gyms, and which they give away free.

In February, the newspaper gave away 63,810 bulk copies.

The Sunday Times – which has put online content behind a paywall – reported a circulation of 1,031,727, down 1.32% on the month, and its lowest circulation of the year.

The Sunday Telegraph, which is set to introduce a metered paywall in September, also fell – by 1.29%, to stand at 481,941.

Circulation figures for the mid-market and red-top titles were largely surprise-free, down an average of 1.4% to 2%.

The News of the World remains far and away the country’s biggest-selling Sunday paper, with a circulation of 2,664,363.

National newspaper ABC figures March 2011
  Monthly Circ Mnth/mnth Yr/Yr (Mar)
Sunday Titles  Mar-11 % change % change
Daily Star Sunday  293,489 -2.93% -14.14%
News of the World  2,664,363 -1.62% -8.27%
Sunday Mirror  1,063,096 -3.37% -7.34%
The People  477,815 -2.14% -10.21%
Sunday Express  533,192 -0.02% -6.46%
The Mail on Sunday  1,888,040 -1.90% -3.31%
Independent on Sunday  153,183 0.26% -0.71%
The Observer  296,023 -2.14% -10.70%
The Sunday Telegraph  481,941 -1.29% -5.46%
The Sunday Times  1,031,727 -1.32% -7.19%

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