Spain leaving the >50% group?

One of the readers commented on decreasing free circulation in Spain that the number of free copies in Spain was perhaps now lower than the number of paid copies. In 2006 and 2007 there were more free than paid papers distributed in Spain.

Six European countries were in the >50% group in 2007. Denmark now has 34% free circulation, so it dropped out of the >50% group. Portugal still has 55% free, Iceland 72% and Luxembourg 51%. Macedonia has 53% free although this is not audited circulation but claims by the publisher.

The 2008 market shares are calculated using World Press Trends data from 2007 and the most recent free circulation data, meaning 2007 and 2008 data are compared, which can cause some problems. As paid circulation is going down in most markets, free markets shares are probably somewhat higher than reported.

In Spain 51% is free (comparing 2007 paid circulation and 2008 free circulation), although this can be disputed. September data compared (2007 & 2008) show a big drop in circulation, but compared to the last yearly data (last 6 months 2007, first 6 months of 2008) the average circulation of the four national papers in the first nine months of 2008 is less than 10%.

The problem with Spain, however, is the 2007 paid circulation. The top 9 paid newspapers (El Pais, Marca, El Mondo, ABC, La Vanguardia, AS, El Periodico, El Correo and La Razon) have exactly the same circulation in 2006 and 2007. Only ‘Sport’ reports a drop of 10,000. This is either a miracle or a problem with data… I suspect the latter.

(it’s not the only miracle in WPT; paid Greek circulation more than doubled compared to 2005.)

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