Content Marketing

Digital Subscriptions Drive Newspaper Circulation Numbers

Newspapers have seen an increase in both print and digital circulation over the past six months, compared to the same time last year.

The 618 papers across the United States in the survey, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today, saw increases in subscriptions. The papers were allowed to count some digital subscriptions more than once, which greatly increased their numbers.

The study, which tallied subscription rates through March 31, was conducted by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

“Under audit rules, newspapers can count paid digital subscribers more than once if they have daily access to digital content on multiple platforms like mobile apps or tablets as part of a bundled subscription package,” according to The New York Times.

For instance, since the  Times Company has 454,000 digital subscribers for The Times and for The International Herald Tribune, its total subscribers was put at more than 807,000. Overall, it had a daily circulation increase of 73.05 percent from the March 2011 findings.

Over the past year, ABC reported the 618 daily newspapers that it tracks saw an increase of 0.68 percent. Papers, overall, gained subscribers for their Sunday papers as well: The Times‘ number shot up 49.56 percent, and The Houston Chronicle received an almost 56 percent increase.

Neal Lulofs, executive vice president for planning and communications and general manager at ABC Interactive, told The Times, “It means, over all, less focus and importance placed on paid print circulation and this transition to a more broader look at cross-platform readership.”

Although newspapers are rapidly losing advertising money and can’t seem to make up for it in the digital world, the increase in customers’ paid subscriptions may be a saving grace.

According to other recent studies, smart use of the Internet and social media can also drive up popularity for traditional media companies since people are turning to social media for breaking news. And, making content iPad and tablet friendly is always advisable.

Image courtesy of Valerie Everett/flickr

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