Circulation and readership newspaper


The number of copies distributed, either on an average day or on particular days (typically Sunday), is called the newspaper's circulation and is one of the principal factors used to set advertising rates. Circulation is not necessarily the same as copies sold, since some copies or newspapers are distributed without cost. Readership figures may be higher than circulation figures because many copies are read by more than one person, although this is offset by the number of copies distributed but not read (especially for those distributed free). In the United States, the Alliance for Audited Media maintains historical and current data on average circulation of daily and weekly newspapers and other periodicals.  

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the daily circulation of the Soviet newspaper Trud exceeded 21,500,000 in 1990, while the Soviet weekly Argumenty i Fakty boasted a circulation of 33,500,000 in 1991. According to United Nations data from 1995 Japan has three daily papersґthe Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, and Mainichi Shimbunґwith circulations well above 5.5 million. Germany's Bild, with a circulation of 3.8 million, was the only other paper in that category. In the United Kingdom, The Sun is the top seller, with around 3.24 million copies distributed daily. In the U.S., The Wall Street Journal has a daily circulation of approximately 2.02 million, making it the most widely distributed paper in the country.  

While paid readership of print newspapers has been steadily declining in the developed OECD nations, it has been rising in the chief developing nations (Brazil, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa), whose paid daily circulation exceeded those of the developed nations for the first time in 2008. In India, The Times of India is the largest-circulation English newspaper, with 3.14 million copies daily. According to the 2009 Indian Readership Survey, the Dainik Jagran is the most-read, local-language (Hindi) newspaper, with 55.7 million readers. According to Tom Standage of The Economist, India currently has daily newspaper circulation of 110 million copies.  

A common measure of a newspaper's health is market penetration, expressed as a percentage of households that receive a copy of the newspaper against the total number of households in the paper's market area. In the 1920s, on a national basis in the U.S., daily newspapers achieved market penetration of 123 percent (meaning the average U.S. household received 1.23 newspapers). As other media began to compete with newspapers, and as printing became easier and less expensive giving rise to a greater diversity of publications, market penetration began to decline. It wasn't until the early 1970s, however, that market penetration dipped below 100 percent. By 2000, it was 53 percent and still falling. Many paid-for newspapers offer a variety of subscription plans. For example, someone might want only a Sunday paper, or perhaps only Sunday and Saturday, or maybe only a workweek subscription, or perhaps a daily subscription. Most newspapers provide some or all of their content on the Internet, either at no cost or for a fee. In some cases, free access is available only for a matter of days or weeks, or for a certain number of viewed articles, after which readers must register and provide personal data. In other cases, free archives are provided.