An Observation on Newsprint Circulation

Continued from Online News Portal in Malaysia...

After looking at the online figures, let's check out some of the selected Peninsular Malaysia statistics from Analysis of Print Media by MSA.

Total Newspaper Circulation 1988 – 2008 (Peninsular Malaysia)

Total newspaper circulation is generally on the rise since 1998. Actual figure for 2008 should have stood higher though if data from Nanyang, Malay Mail and Weekend Mail are included.

Looks like newsprint has "not dead yet" in this part of the world and will co-exist nicely with online media. In fact, the circulation growth has been steady all these years, contributed by the increase of our population (and knowledge society).

Daily Newspaper Circulation Grouping By Company (Pen. Malaysia) - July 2007 – June 2008

It is not an unknown fact that majority of the print media giants here are government-control-link companies, such as NSTP Group, Utusan Media Sales with UMNO and The Star with MCA. Sin Chew Media Group might be an exception here, being owned by the timber tycoon Tiong Hiew King. However, the acquisition of Nanyang from MCA two years ago has since setup its monopoly in Chinese media.

ADEX Vs Daily Newspaper Circulation July 2007 – June 2008

It is interesting to see that the ADEX-to-circulation ratio is the highest for English Media, with RM 1.43 billion being spent on 0.75 billion English copies (RM 1.91 ADEX per circulation). The average ADEX per circulation stands at RM 1.17 (Note: multiple readers per copy).

Talking about ADEX in Malaysia, newspaper still has the biggest share of the pie among all media. However, the expenditure on newspaper has suffered a decrease in 1Q 2009 compared to 1Q 2008. Internet ADEX on the other hand, has enjoyed the highest growth among all media.

Audited Circulation Trends – English Newspapers (1988-2008)

A few online news portals (without print circulation) have been gaining huge popularity since last year, creating a stiffer competition in online space compared to the print circulation. As for English newsprint, The Star is still far ahead of everyone, considering The Sun offers free controlled circulation.

Audited Circulation Trends – Bahasa Malaysia Newspapers (1988 – 2008)

Similar to the online scenario, competition in Malay circulation is only reserved for the "big three". Harian Metro is gaining popularity in recent years, posing a challenge to Utusan Malaysia's top position.

Another notable trend in the Malay segment is newspaper sales on weekends are generally much more higher than working days.

Audited Circulation Trends – Chinese Newspapers (1988-2008)

As opposed to English and Malay newspaper, Chinese newsprints do not brand exclusively for weekend / Sunday edition. They do, however, have night edition which is basically "tomorrow's news" tailored for those who read at night.

Sin Chew is by far the most popular newspaper in the Chinese segment, and I am wondering how ChinaPress has managed to secure top spot in Chinese online news portal. Perhaps, Sin Chew has the highest dailies circulation in Malaysia (even with only 24% of Chinese population) thus having less visits to its online channel.

Next: How I Consume The News?

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