BOTH The Scottish Sun and its rival, the Daily Record, found reasons to be cheerful, following publication of the latest sales figures, by audit body, ABC.
While the Record was celebrating a third consecutive month of narrowing the gap between it and its bigger-selling tabloid rival, The Sun was celebrating a big sales leap compared to this time last year. With the help of a price cut, The Sun, last summer, took, from the Record, the crown of Scotland’s biggest-selling daily newspaper.
The gap in average sales last month narrowed to 25,493 – an improvement by 2625 copies compared to the average sale for March. Add the Record’s free evening edition into the mix, and it becomes 8017. The Sun currently retails at 15p, up five pence on its previous price.
Says the Record: “Since the Sun in Scotland moved its price from 10p to 15p in January, the ‘paid for gap’ has closed by 8718 copies.”
Last month, the paid-for morning edition of the Daily Record recorded sales in Scotland alone (it enjoys sales of just over 30,000 outside Scotland) of 373,151, compared to the Scottish Sun’s figure of 398,644.
FreePM – distributed in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee – reported an average 17,476 copies.
In a statement, Mark Hollinshead, managing director of the Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd, said: “We have always maintained that the heavily discounted Sun in Scotland shows an artificially inflated sale that would not be sustainable at full cover price.”
For The Scottish Sun, a sale of 398,644 represents a year-on-year increase of 2.35 per cent – when the paper was selling for 10p. Year-on-year for the Record, by contrast, shows a near ten per cent drop.
Says Scottish Sun editor, David Dinsmore: “The fact we are selling more papers at 15p than we did at 10p is a fantastic achievement and testament to the quality of product we are producing day in, day out. Readers are not stupid. They will not buy a paper unless it packed full of great news, sport and features – no matter what the price is.”
During March, the average sale for the Scottish Sun was 405,049. For the Record, it was 376,802.
Elsewhere, despite widespread agreement that The Scotsman is a better read under recently-appointed editor, Mike Gilson, the figures for the paper remain stubbornly downward: 3.4 per cent down, month-on-month; 12.3 per cent down, year-on-year. Its Sunday sister title, Scotland on Sunday, is down 6.7 per cent, year-on-year, and 4.5 per cent, month-on-month.
Meanwhile, the year-on-year figure for The Herald is down 5.4 per cent (2.2 per cent down, month-on-month). As for its Sunday sister, the Sunday Herald, its year-on-year figure is 3.1 per cent down, year-on-year, and 0.4 per cent down, month-on-month.
Both the Daily Star and the Scottish Daily Mail recorded a modest rise on April last year.
As usual, the Sunday Mail remains the biggest-selling newspaper in Scotland, with an average circulation last month of 468,459 (compared to 465,460 in March).
The other main figures are: News of the World 291,574 (compared to 295,147 in March), Sunday Post 281,901 (287,219 in March), Scottish Daily Mail 124,689 (127,330), Scottish Mail on Sunday 120,472 (115,123), Scottish Daily Star 91,329 (92,515), Scottish Daily Express 77,724 (77,761), Sunday Times Scotland 69,701 (69,926), The Herald 69,328 (70,907), Scotland on Sunday 66,066 (69,237), Sunday Herald 54,479 (54,738), Scotsman 54,179 (56,094), Sunday Express 48,665 (51,027), Scottish Mirror 34,700 (34,714), Scottish Sunday Mirror 33,480 (31,770), Scottish Daily Star – Sunday 29,934 (29,491), The Times 27,806 (27,834), The Daily Telegraph 25,033 (23,340), The People 24,065 (24,516), The Observer 22,806 (22,190), The Sunday Telegraph 22,520 (20,414), Guardian 15,743 (15,640), Independent on Sunday 10,184 (9493), Independent 10,053 (10,243), and the Financial Times 5,732 (5,847).