December 2016 ABCs: Guardian defies the festive slump
The inevitable Christmas slowdown saw most newspapers record minor declines or limited growth in December.
The latest ABC results show only four titles witnessed any uplift in festive sales, with the Guardian proving to be the best performing title with a 1.3% increase between November and December 2016 (equating to 2,000 extra papers).
The Daily Telegraph was up just 1% (an extra 4,600 copies), while the Financial Times was up 0.7% (1,400 copies). The Times was only up 0.8% in December, but is still performing well year on year - the Murdoch-owned title was up 9.2% selling more than 37,500 more copies than in December 2015.
Slightly worrying performance from the 'i', which, after a period of growth, was down -1.8% last month, and down -1.6% year on year.
In the mid-market the Daily Mail was up just 0.6%, while the Daily Express - which is currently in merger talks with Trinity Mirror - was down -1%.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror - Trinity's biggest selling newspaper - was down -2.3% and was the worst performing title of the year, down -11.7%.
Elsewhere, the Sun was down -2.3% (and -10.5% year on year), while the Metro (total UK footprint) was down just -0.4%, but up 9.7% YoY.
Overall, the daily newspaper market was down only -0.8% month on month, and -3.7% year on year.
The entire Sunday market was down -1.6% in December after all titles recorded declines in circulation. The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph, however, managed to increase yearly sales by 3.8% and 2.3%, respectively.
Quality title the Observer posted the biggest circulation decrease in December, down -4.3% and dropping a little less than 8,200 copies. The newspaper, however, did not fare too badly over the year, with circulation down just -0.8%.
In the mid-market, the Sunday Express came off worse compared with the previous month after a -2.9% dent to its circulation. However, in terms of yearly sales, it was the Sunday Post that was hit hard - down -13.5%.
As per usual, the popular market housed the bigger circulation declines - both over the month and over the year - with the Sunday People down -3.6% PoP and -15.1% YoY.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror was down -2.4% PoP and -16.3% YoY - the biggest decline in circulation over the year.
London Free Press
Unsurprisingly, the festive break meant fewer papers would be handed out on the capital's streets and so the London free press market was subsequently down -3.1% in December.
City A.M. was down -0.5%, the London Evening Standard was down -5.8% and the London Metro was down -0.6%.
Over the last year, however, the entire London market was up a healthy 6.5%.