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Newspapers ABC Q2 2022: Local and Free newspapers steady the ship

The Audit Bureau of Circulations South Africa's (ABC) figures for Q2 2022 show a steady ship, building on the stability of the last three quarters and growth in the Free and Local newspapers categories.
Newspapers ABC Q2 2022: Local and Free newspapers steady the ship

In its release of the Q2 2022 circulation figures, the ABC notes the continuation of the digital migration to paid-for newspapers.

“The Newspaper category has significantly grown in digital from daily and weekly newspapers. The continuous migration from print to digital is ongoing,” it states.

Daily newspapers

This quarter sees only two newspapers, Daily Dispatch and Pretoria News up on the previous quarter as well as the prior year. Their increases are under 5%, in keeping with the rest of the category increases. Despite no other newspapers seeing an increase on the previous quarter, all the decreases are under double figures.

The biggest losers are the Son, Sowetan and Daily Sun, with losses over 5%. Daily Sun was also the biggest loser in Q1 2022.

Also up on the prior year are The Star, Business Day and The Herald. Both Business Day and The Herald are continuing their upward trajectory from Q1 2022.

This quarter bucks the trend set by the first quarter of 2022 and fourth quarter of 2021 in terms of the number of dailies increasing circulation over the previous quarter - in Q1 2022, eight dailies were up on the previous quarter.

What is in keeping with the general trend of the last few quarters is that any increases on the previous quarter are incremental and single digits.

PublicationFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Daily NationMD, Mo-Sat70,54970,549-3.2%-9.4%
Daily SunMo-Fr32,49816332,661-6.9%-29.7%
IsolezweMD, Mo-Fr29,1721,02530,197-4.4%-24.0%
Burger, Die DailyMD, Mo-Fr27,10465327,757-4.7%-10.0%
BukeddeMD, Mo-Sat24,06624,066-1.7%-19.2%
Beeld, DailyMD, Mo-Fr20,33368221,015-2.7%-10.6%
Citizen, The (Daily)MD, Mo-Fr18,8027,34026,142-3.5%-11.9%
Son (Daily)MD, Mo-Fr18,2665118,317-8.1%-22.7%
New VisionMD, Mo-Fr17,76027318,033-3.5%-5.6%
Times of SwazilandMD, Mo-Fr14,42914,429-9.2%-19.0%
Star, TheMD, Mo-Fr14,25813,68727,945-0.1%2.4%
Business DayMD, Mo-Fr11,7133,47415,187-5.1%4.5%
Daily DispatchMD, Mo-Fr11,09315511,2483.9%3.2%
Herald, TheMD, Mo-Fr10,1691,31611,4850.0%0.5%
Mercury, TheMD, Mo-Fr8,0733,48611,559-1.4%-3.3%
Cape TimesMD, Mo-Fr7,4344,19311,627-1.7%-3.6%
Cape ArgusMD, Mo-Fr6,7113,96410,675-1.5%-4.4%
Witness, TheMD, Mo-Fr6,6531566,809-5.2%-11.2%
Daily NewsMD, Mo-Fr6,0053,4059,410-3.3%-4.0%
Pretoria NewsMD, Mo-Fr1,2741,1412,4151.8%1.3%

Weekly newspapers

In a dwindling category, The Post was the only weekly to show an increase on the previous quarter. There were also no increases on the prior year.

Mail & Guardian continued its downward trend experienced in Q1 2022 and Q4 2021, with the second biggest decline on the previous quarter.

Following its decline on the previous quarter in Q1 2022, Botswana weekly, The Voice, was the category’s biggest loser this quarter, with a 7.4% decline on the previous quarter.

PublicationFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Soccer LadumaWkly, Wed74,75574,755-2.7%-19.4%
Ilanga2xW, Mo&Th37,16537,165-3.3%-15.1%
Post, TheWkly, Wed16,0333,53719,5701.0%-9.3%
Mail & GuardianWkly, Fr8,597138,610-6.9%-29.4%
Voice, TheWkly, Fr7,5773457,922-7.4%-22.6%
Daily Maverick,Wkly, Sat6,8221,4768,298-0.9%
Lesotho TimesWkly, Th6,3662116,577-5.9%-0.5%
BOTSWANA GUARDIANWkly, WedNon Submission
Diamond Fields Advertiser.Wkly, FrNo Submission
The Midweek SunWkly, WedNon Submission

Weekend newspapers

Last quarter there was quite a bit to celebrate in this category. However, this quarter there is little cause for celebration as all 21 of the newspapers in the category failed to show an increase on the previous quarter and on the prior year.

For the quarter, double figure losses came from Pretoria News, The Weekend Post and City Press. The rest of the category showed declines under 10%.

In Q1 2022, Pretoria News (Saturday) had the second biggest increase on the previous quarter.

Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo, Isolezwe ngeSonto and The Citizen (Saturday) continued their downward movement on the prior year in Q1 2022 with declines over 20% on the prior year this quarter.

Pretoria News (Saturday) joined them this quarter with a 28.8% decrease on the prior year.

PublicationFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Sunday TimesWknd82,55629,932112,488-3.3%-5.8%
Sunday NationWkly, Sun80,06880,068-1.7%-9.1%
Burger, Die SaturdayWkly, Sat37,92865138,579-3.2%-10.8%
Beeld, SaturdayWkly, Sat26,19519626,391-2.3%-12.6%
Sunday WorldWknd23,3494,74628,095-0.8%-14.4%
Isolezwe ngoMgqibeloWkly, Sat22,824222,826-5.0%-24.2%
Isolezwe ngeSontoWkly, Sun18,659218,661-5.8%-27.1%
City PressWknd17,71529418,009-14.3%-29.6%
Ilanga LangesontoWknd17,11317,113-5.5%-19.4%
Sunday TribuneWkly, Sun16,7793,95220,731-2.5%-7.5%
Sunday VisionWkly, Sun11,30327811,581-7.8%-4.9%
Independent on SaturdayWkly, Sat10,1733,72313,896-2.0%-7.4%
Citizen, The (Saturday)Wkly, Sat9,87829,880-7.2%-25.6%
Daily Dispatch Weekend Edition (formerly Saturday Dispatch)Wknd9,0141269,140-0.6%-2.4%
Weekend ArgusWknd8,2124,66712,879-2.7%-1.8%
Weekend PostWknd7,9124508,362-11.1%-10.1%
Weekend WitnessWkly, Sat5,8171335,950-6.2%-17.2%
Saturday Star, TheWkly, Sat4,7023,6548,356-5.2%-9.4%
Pretoria News SaturdayWkly, Sat83210842-16.2%-28.8%
Taifa JumapiliWkly, SunResigned

Local newspapers

The picture was a bit brighter for local newspapers with some good increases on the previous quarter by seven of the category's newspapers.

Witbank News, Middelberg Observer, Estcourt & Midlands News and Northern Natal Courier had double figure increases on the previous quarter.

Vryheid Herald had an 83.5% increase on the previous quarter.

Many of these newspapers also showed good increases on the prior year, including Witbank News and Middelberg Observer.

PublicationFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Witbank News, FriWkly, Fr20,11420,11421.0%78.0%
Middelburg Observer, FriWkly, Fr17,16217,16216.0%58.1%
African ReporterWkly, Fr14,42814,428-0.9%-10.2%
George Herald (Thursday)Wkly, Th9,4919,491-10.7%-13.9%
Mpumalanga NewsWkly, Wed7,4347,4342.0%25.0%
Paarl PostWkly, Th6,707116,718-4.8%-6.4%
Zululand Observer Weekend (Formerly Friday)Wkly, Fr5,4324905,922-8.1%4.8%
Weslander, TheWkly, Th5,415255,440-4.7%-14.1%
Worcester StandardWkly, Th5,27265,278-1.5%-11.9%
Mosselbay AdvertiserWkly, Fr4,2974,297-9.6%-18.9%
Limpopo MirrorWkly, Fr4,2194,219-6.9%-16.3%
VaalweekbladWkly, Th3,1383,138-9.5%-13.0%
Zululand Observer MondayWkly, Mon2,8694803,349-9.1%-0.8%
South Cape Forum/Suid Kaap ForumWkly, Th1,7761,776-14.4%-17.7%
Daller, DieWkly, Fr1,6021,602-3.5%4.6%
Talk of the TownWkly, Fr1,3771,377-10.1%-21.6%
Bosvelder ReviewWkly, Fr1,3491,3497.8%-10.1%
Northern Review WeekendWkly, Fr1,2831,283-18.5%-22.3%
StreeknuusWkly, Fr1,1341,134-11.3%-32.7%
Northern Natal CourierWkly, Fr1,1142031,31712.9%-4.0%
Knysna Plett HeraldWkly, Th1,1011,101-14.1%-39.8%
The CourierWkly, Fr1,0911,0910.0%-3.1%
Oudtshoorn CourantWkly, Fr956956-7.1%-14.9%
Graaff Reinet AdvertiserWkly, Th809809-10.8%-21.8%
Vryheid HeraldWkly, Fr6215001,12183.5%21.6%
Estcourt and Midlands NewsWkly, Fr39418758139.3%-5.8%
RepresentativeWkly, FrChanged Sector
Newcastle and District AdvertiserWkly, FrChanged Sector
Ladysmith GazetteWkly, FrChanged Sector
District MailWkly, ThRebranded

Free newspapers

The largest category remains true to form, with incremental growth in circulation ranging between 0.1% and 2.9%. As in Q1 2022, many newspapers showed a 0.0% increase/decrease on the previous quarter or minor losses.

The only double-figure increases on the previous quarter and on the prior year came from the Helderberg Gazette & District Mail and the Chatsworth Tabloid.

PublicationPeriodFrequencyTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Alberton RecordApr -JunWkly, Wed37,7800.7%-0.2%
Alex NewsApr -JunF14,771-0.1%-0.3%
Athlone NewsApr -JunWkly, Wed54,1510.0%0.0%
Atlantic SunApr -JunWkly, Wed30,7940.0%0.0%
Bedfordview & Edenvale NewsApr -JunWkly, Wed44,5901.8%0.4%
Benoni City TimesApr -JunWkly, Tue38,137-0.2%-1.8%
Berea MailApr -JunWkly, Fr26,620-1.9%-1.9%
Bloemfontein Courant (formerly Krant)Apr -JunWkly, Wed44,8890.0%0.0%
BloemnuusApr -JunWkly, Th41,7570.1%1.6%
Boksburg AdvertiserApr -JunWkly, Tue43,6720.7%0.4%
BolanderApr -JunWkly, Wed30,4610.0%0.0%
Bonus ReviewApr -JunWkly, Wed19,8500.0%-0.1%
Brakpan HeraldApr -JunWkly, Tue19,280-0.4%1.7%
Breederivier Gazette.Apr -JunWkly, Wed12,3040.5%3.2%
Capricorn Voice ..Apr -JunQ5,8930.2%10.1%
Carletonville Herald.Apr -JunWkly, Fr11,910-0.5%-0.5%
Chatsworth Rising SunApr -JunWkly, Tue53,0500.0%2.9%
Chatsworth TabloidApr -JunWkly, Wed58,24911.0%11.0%
City Vision (Khayalitsha)Apr -JunWkly, Th50,5870.0%0.1%
City Vision (Langa/Gugulethu)Apr -JunWkly, Th30,362-6.6%-6.6%
City Vision (Lwandle / Nomzamo) former Kasi Vision HelderbergApr -JunWkly, Th10,0000.0%0.0%
Coastal WeeklyApr -JunWkly, Th29,9750.0%1.1%
Comaro ChronicleApr -JunWkly, Wed20,8060.3%1.4%
Constantiaberg BulletinApr -JunWkly, Wed31,3160.0%0.0%
Corridor GazetteApr -JunF9,7100.0%-0.9%
Daily Sun On the GO - ECApr -JunWkly, Th10,9950.0%0.0%
Daily Sun On the GO - FSApr -JunWkly, Th7,9950.0%0.0%
Daily Sun On the GO - KZNApr -JunWkly, Th5,990-0.1%-0.1%
Daily Sun On the GO - WCApr -JunWkly, Th4,9950.0%0.4%
Diepkloof Urban NewsApr -JunWkly, FrRebranded
Dolphin Coast MailApr -JunWkly, Wed29,9600.1%
East Coast MailApr -JunWkly, Wed29,9600.1%
Eastern Cape Rising SunApr -JunWkly, TueNo Submission
Eikestadnuus.Apr -JunWkly, Th23,778-0.3%0.3%
Eldorado Urban NewsApr -JunWkly, FrRebranded
Ethekwini TimesApr -JunWkly, Fr40,9800.0%0.0%
ExpressApr -JunWkly, Wed34,0570.1%0.3%
Eyethu Bay Watch (Formerly Baywatch)Apr -JunWkly, Wed30,0680.0%0.0%
False Bay EchoApr -JunWkly, Wed30,8790.0%0.0%
Fourways ReviewApr -JunWkly, Wed36,630-0.5%-0.6%
Free State SunApr -JunWkly, Th4,7500.0%0.0%
Germiston City NewsApr -JunWkly, Tue29,936-0.5%-1.1%
Go & ExpressApr -JunWkly, Th37,337-0.1%-7.6%
Greytown GazetteApr -JunWkly, Mon9,9000.0%0.0%
Hazyview HeraldApr -JunF9,7950.0%0.0%
Heidelberg/Nigel HerautApr -JunWkly, Wed19,6050.0%1.7%
Helderberg Gazette & District MailApr -JunWkly, Tue35,31411.0%11.6%
Hermanus Times.Apr -JunWkly, Wed20,613-0.2%0.3%
HerrieApr -JunWkly, Th12,6472.9%-0.6%
Highvelder, TheApr -JunWkly, Fr11,7600.0%-0.7%
Highway MailApr -JunWkly, Fr51,097-5.4%-5.8%
Inner City GazetteApr -JunWkly, Th4,9750.8%
Intshonalanga EyethuApr -JunWkly, Fr23,7800.0%0.0%
Issue MangaungApr -JunWkly, Wed29,9000.1%0.0%
Issue, Eastern Free StateApr -JunWkly, Th21,9000.0%0.0%
Kathorus MailApr -JunF53,9620.0%-0.1%
Kempton ExpressApr -JunWkly, Th48,512-0.4%-0.2%
Komani Karoo ExpressApr -JunMtly29,9930.0%0.0%
Kouga ExpressApr -JunWkly, Th19,9860.0%0.1%
Krugersdorp NewsApr -JunWkly, Wed26,3860.2%-0.8%
Maluti NewsApr -JunWkly, FrNo Submission
Maritzburg EchoApr -JunWkly, Th34,9000.0%-6.2%
Maritzburg SunApr -JunWkly, Wed29,9560.0%0.0%
Maseru MetroApr -JunWkly, Th34,9130.0%0.8%
Merebank Rising SunApr -JunWkly, Tue19,8500.0%0.0%
Mid South Coast Rising SunApr -JunWkly, Tue19,8500.0%0.0%
Midrand ReporterApr -JunWkly, Th28,2190.4%0.4%
Msunduzi Eyethu (former Edendale)Apr -JunWkly, Th34,9480.0%0.0%
Mthatha ExpressApr -JunWkly, Wed69,9900.0%0.0%
Noordkaap BulletinApr -JunWkly, Th35,2552.5%0.4%
North Coast CourierApr -JunWkly, Wed29,8860.2%-0.2%
North Coast Rising SunApr -JunWkly, Wed64,8600.0%0.0%
Northcliff & Melville TimesApr -JunWkly, Tue30,5500.3%1.1%
Northern EyethuApr -JunMtly15,8610.0%0.0%
Northglen NewsApr -JunWkly, Fr26,679-2.8%-3.2%
Overport Rising SunApr -JunWkly, Th44,8500.0%5.9%
Parys GazetteApr -JunWkly, Fr7,4800.0%0.0%
PE ExpressApr -JunWkly, Wed119,9670.0%0.0%
People s Post Athlone & LandsdowneApr -JunWkly, Tue28,0000.0%
People s Post Woodstock & CityApr -JunWkly, Tue25,0000.0%
People s Post AthloneApr -JunWkly, TueRebranded
People s Post City EditionApr -JunWkly, TueRebranded
People s Post Claremont/RondeboschApr -JunWkly, Tue20,0000.0%0.0%
People s Post Constantia/WynbergApr -JunWkly, Tue20,0000.0%0.0%
People s Post False BayApr -JunWkly, Tue22,0000.0%0.0%
People s Post Grassy ParkApr -JunWkly, TueRebranded
People s Post Grassy Park & RetreatApr -JunWkly, Tue25,0000.0%
People s Post LandsdowneApr -JunWkly, TueRebranded
People s Post Mitchells PlainApr -JunWkly, Tue50,0000.0%0.0%
People s Post RetreatApr -JunWkly, TueRebranded
People s Post WoodstockApr -JunWkly, TueRebranded
Phoenix TabloidApr -JunWkly, Tue55,9800.0%0.0%
Pimville Urban NewsApr -JunWkly, FrRebranded
PlainsmanApr -JunWkly, Wed89,5360.0%0.0%
Polokwane Observer.Apr -JunWkly, Th29,7640.0%0.0%
Potchefstroom Herald.Apr -JunWkly, Fr16,9380.0%0.0%
Protea Urban NewsApr -JunWkly, FrRebranded
Public EyeApr -JunWkly, Th29,9520.0%0.0%
Queensburgh NewsApr -JunF12,830-1.0%-1.7%
Randburg SunApr -JunWkly, Th59,8630.0%0.5%
Randfontein / Westonaria Herald.Apr -JunWkly, Tue18,1610.4%-1.5%
Rekord Central/SentraalApr -JunF18,5000.0%0.0%
Rekord CenturionApr -JunWkly, Wed60,2600.1%0.0%
Rekord East/OosApr -JunWkly, Tue79,0780.1%0.0%
Rekord MamelodiApr -JunWkly, Fr29,9500.0%0.0%
Rekord MootApr -JunWkly, Th33,5700.0%0.0%
Rekord North/NoordApr -JunWkly, Th39,886-0.3%-0.3%
Rekord NowetoApr -JunF28,9500.0%0.0%
Rekord West News/Wes NuusApr -JunF20,2000.1%0.0%
RepresentativeApr -JunWkly, Mon26,743-0.9%
Ridge TimesApr -JunWkly, Fr34,5840.5%
Rising Sun LenasiaApr -JunWkly, Wed29,9250.0%0.0%
Roodepoort Northsider (FormerlyNorthside ChronicleApr -JunWkly, Th26,7240.3%-0.7%
Roodepoort RecordApr -JunWkly, Th46,6910.1%0.5%
Rosebank Killarney GazetteApr -JunWkly, Tue41,1170.4%0.7%
Sandton ChronicleApr -JunWkly, Wed50,0950.1%0.4%
Sedibeng SterApr -JunWkly, Th90,9800.0%0.0%
Sentinel NewsApr -JunWkly, Wed7,1450.0%0.0%
South Coast FeverApr -JunWkly, Th34,900-0.1%-0.1%
South Coast SunApr -JunWkly, Fr19,199-3.2%-3.6%
Southern CourierApr -JunWkly, Tue25,413-0.1%-0.2%
Southern MailApr -JunWkly, Wed48,8530.0%0.0%
Southern StarApr -JunWkly, Fr31,9800.0%0.0%
Southern Suburbs TatlerApr -JunWkly, Wed47,2380.0%0.0%
Southlands SunApr -JunWkly, Fr17,318-2.1%-2.6%
Soweto ExpressApr -JunMtlyTerminated
Soweto Urban NewsApr -JunWkly, Th109,1000.0%
Springs AdvertiserApr -JunWkly, Wed26,0550.0%-0.1%
Standerton Advertiser.Apr -JunWkly, Fr4,7500.0%
Stanger WeeklyApr -JunWkly, Wed29,200-0.3%-0.2%
SteelburgerApr -JunWkly, Th17,7000.0%0.0%
Ster, NorthApr -JunWkly, Tue32,7600.0%-0.4%
Ster, SouthApr -JunWkly, Tue41,4600.0%0.0%
Swartland Gazette (formerly Swartland Monitor).Apr -JunWkly, Tue19,3190.4%-1.3%
TabletalkApr -JunWkly, Wed67,8440.0%0.0%
Tame Times - WeeklyApr -JunWkly, TueTerminated
Taxi TimesApr -JunFTerminated
The HiltonApr -JunMtly4,9600.0%0.0%
The Olifants NewsApr -JunFNo Submission
The Springfield Weekly GazetteApr -JunWkly, Th52,4800.0%0.0%
The Weekly Free StateApr -JunWkly, ThTerminated
ThembisanApr -JunF49,789-0.1%-0.1%
Tongaat & Verulam Tabloid (former Northern Star)Apr -JunWkly, Tue34,9800.0%0.0%
Tygerburger BellvilleApr -JunWkly, Wed19,2910.0%0.5%
Tygerburger BrackenfellApr -JunWkly, Wed18,571-4.8%-4.2%
TygerBurger De GrendelApr -JunWkly, Wed18,246-2.0%-1.7%
Tygerburger DurbanvilleApr -JunWkly, Wed20,495-2.3%-2.0%
Tygerburger Eersterivier/Blue DownsApr -JunWkly, Wed25,754-5.9%-8.0%
Tygerburger ElsiesrivierApr -JunWkly, WedRebranded
Tygerburger Elsiesrivier & RavensmeadApr -JunWkly, Wed16,0380.0%
Tygerburger GoodwoodApr -JunWkly, Wed14,072-0.3%-0.1%
Tygerburger KraaifonteinApr -JunWkly, Wed17,575-6.1%-5.9%
Tygerburger KuilsrivierApr -JunWkly, Wed19,158-1.0%-0.9%
Tygerburger MilnertonApr -JunWkly, Wed17,396-3.8%-7.1%
Tygerburger ParowApr -JunWkly, Wed14,157-1.6%-1.4%
Tygerburger Ravensmead/BelharApr -JunWkly, WedRebranded
Tygerburger Table ViewApr -JunWkly, Wed30,511-3.2%-3.1%
TygerBurger Tyger ValleyApr -JunWkly, Wed17,194-1.6%-1.4%
UD ExpressApr -JunWkly, Wed29,9900.0%0.1%
UGU EyethuApr -JunWkly, Wed19,8500.0%0.0%
Umgungundlovu Eyethu (former Umngeni)Apr -JunF19,9600.0%0.0%
Umlazi EyethuApr -JunWkly, Fr29,8810.0%0.0%
Umlazi TimesApr -JunWkly, Th40,9800.0%0.0%
Uthukela EyethuApr -JunWkly, Th9,893-0.9%-0.9%
Village TalkApr -JunWkly, Wed11,9460.0%0.0%
VistaApr -JunWkly, Th35,2270.0%0.2%
Vrystaat KroonApr -JunF12,3391.6%1.0%
VukaniApr -JunWkly, Wed78,0560.0%0.0%
Vuk'uzenzeleApr -JunMtly821,943-3.2%
Weskus NuusApr -JunF14,9950.1%0.1%
Xpress TimesApr -JunWkly, Wed21,9800.0%0.0%
YstervarkApr -JunWkly, Th7,9250.0%0.3%
Zululand Eyethu (formerly Eshowe Watch)Apr -JunMtly11,8540.0%0.1%

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.

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