Trend towards e-paper
The figures published in mid-January 2020 by the Information Community for the Determination of the Distribution of Advertising Media (IVW) prove this: The circulation figures of German print media continue to decline. While individual sales are declining, in some cases very significantly, subscription figures are proving to be more stable.
The news magazine Stern is now only sold 440,000 times – a drop of 8.4 percent compared to the previous year. According to the IVW, the circulation of Gala (204,000 copies) has dropped by 10.5 percent. The Welt is at 107,777 copies and thus loses a significant 30.7 percent. The Bild (1.37 million copies) is also shrinking at a double-digit rate. As a result, Europe’s largest tabloid would probably fall below the circulation threshold of less than one million next year. The Bild am Sonntag, is currently at 700,000 copies sold. Der Spiegel is still relatively stable: with a circulation of now 691,000 copies, it lost less than three percent. Among the weekly newspapers, Welt am Sonntag is the only one to report growth: up 8.5 percent to 397,000 copies.
All daily newspapers including Sunday editions together lost around four percent and for the first time sold less than 15 million copies in total. General-interest magazines are falling below 80 million copies, and trade journals below nine million copies.
Circulation figures: There are also winners
Besides many losers there are also a few winners, for example Manager Magazin. It achieved a gain of seven percent and is now sold around 109,000 times. The Handelsblatt was also able to increase its circulation by 4.7 percent to 134,897 within a year.
Subscription circulation more stable than retail sales
Whether daily newspapers, weekly newspapers or popular magazines: subscription circulation is much more stable than newsstand sales. The trend towards e-paper is also solidifying. Here, the figures for newspapers rose by 17 percent across all titles and by almost 20 percent for magazines.
Source: The German Audit Bureau of Circulation (IVW): Auflagenzahlen des 4. Quartals 2019