Daily Star price cut pays dividends

LONDON - The Daily Star's 15p price cut last month paid off, with the Richard Desmond-owned title the only tabloid to grow its circulation between October and November.

On 5 November, the paper cut its cover price from 35p to 20p, making it the cheapest national daily newspaper in the UK, 10p cheaper than The Sun, which itself reduced its price to 30p in August. And November's ABCs show that the Daily Star's circulation grew month on month by 2.48% to 714,192 copies.

November was largely a good month for Desmond, with the Daily Express posting the next best month-on-month circulation growth of any mid-market or tabloid paper. Its circulation rose 1.35% to 752,181 copies. And across Sunday red-top and mid-market sectors, where circulation fell for most titles month on month and year on year, the Sunday Express grew circulation by 0.16% month on month, to 670,486 copies.

However, things were less rosy at the Daily Star Sunday, which lost 2.06% of circulation month on month, and a massive 17.76% year on year, to 346,942 copies.

Over the preceding 12 months, every newspaper in the red-top and mid-market sectors shed readers, with Trinity Mirror particularly badly hit. The Daily Star Sunday lost a greater percentage of circulation than any other red-top or mid-market title over the year, followed by the Sunday Sport (down 16.01%), The People (down 12.87%) Daily Record (down 8.06%) and Daily Mirror (down 7.81%).

Against the backdrop of declining sales over the year, The Sun managed to outperform every other paper in the red-top and mid-market sectors year on year.

Its circulation fell by 1.06% year on year, to 3,045,899 copies - a decline less steep than that of any other red-top or mid-market title. The decline, however, leaves The Sun just 45,899 copies above its all-important three-million sales barrier, which is viewed as crucial in its commercial strategy.

Meanwhile, Associated Newspapers experienced a tough November. The Mail on Sunday lost 4.88% of circulation year on year, to 2,211,029 copies, while the Daily Mail's circulation fell 5.75% year on year, to 2,193,715 copies.

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