New York—The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and newspapers overall reported increases in total print-plus-digital circulation, with gains influenced by a new Audit Bureau of Circulations reporting standard that combines free or reduced-cost digital subscriptions with paid print subscriptions.
The Journal reported a total average circulation of 2.1 million for the period ended March 31, a small increase over the year-earlier period but still tops among all daily newspapers. Weekend print circulation grew by 2.5%, to 1.5 million.
USA Today kept its No. 2 spot with 1.8 million print-plus-digital readers, down 0.64% from a year earlier.
The Times reported total circulation of 1.6 million for weekday access and 2.0 million for Sundays year-over-year, also for print and digital subscriptions combined, for an average circulation gain of 73% for weekdays and 50% for Sundays. Print subscriptions alone totaled 779.7 million weekdays and 1.27 million on Sundays, lower by 4.5% and 1.1%, respectively, over the year-earlier period.
The Times' growth is due to its new metered model, which has added paying digital subscribers to its overall total. Before, those were negligible. Unlike the Journal, The Times provides print subscribers with free digital access.
Using the new reporting standard that combines print with digital circulation, daily circulation nationally was up 0.68% for the 618 papers reporting to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, with Sunday circulation up 5% at 532 papers.