US newspapers gain online, but print lags

2012-10-30 21:27
New York Times

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Washington - US daily newspapers gained online readers over the past six months, but not enough to make up for declining print circulation, industry data showed Tuesday.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) said that in the six months to 30 September, overall circulation - a measure including both print and digital - fell 0.2% for dailies and rose 0.6% for Sunday editions.

The industry group said digital circulation now accounts for 15.3% of newspapers' total circulation mix, up from 14.2% earlier this year and 9.8% in September 2011.

Digital circulation includes tablet and smartphone apps, online replicas, metered or restricted-access websites, or e-reader editions.

The ABC this year began counting both digital and print readers in calculating circulation for the 613 dailies and 528 Sunday newspapers.

Under this system, The Wall Street Journal was the top US daily with 1.5 million print editions and 794 000 digital readers, for a total of 2.23 million. That was up 9.4% from a year ago.

USA Today was the top newspaper for print only with a circulation of 1.6 million, but with only 86 000 online readers, it was number two overall at 1.7 million.

The New York Times was number three overall with digital readership of 896 000, and print circulation of 717 000. It was the only major daily where digital readership topped that of print and its total circulation was up 40% over the past year to 1.15 million.

The Times last year began charging readers for full access to the newspaper's website. The Wall Street Journal also charges for online access to WSJ.com and many other newspapers are implementing "paywalls" or metered access.

The Los Angeles Times was the number four US daily with a circulation of 641 000, including 454 000 in print.

Fifth largest was the New York Daily News, followed by the San Jose Mercury News, New York Post, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times and Denver Post.

The New York Times remained the top Sunday newspaper with total average circulation of just over 2.1 million, including more than 850 000 digital.

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