The Audit Bureau of Circulations just released its numbers for the circulations of the top 25 newspapers in the U.S. Every paper except the Wall Street Journal had a decrease. The WSJ had a very minor increase, but that’s still significant compared to double-digit decreases of many of the others. Moreover, the WSJ’s increase combined with USA Today’s decrease moved the WSJ into the number 1 spot as the largest circulating newspaper in the country (2,024,269).
This has been reported in a number of places, but the one question not asked elsewhere is “why?” Why is the WSJ bucking the trend? From a marketing perspective, for an industry that is severely ill, this seems to be the critical question. Is it the respective biases in the different newspapers given today’s economic and political climate? Is it the editorial content? The price? Something else?
Whatever the reason, it behooves the other papers to take note and emulate some of the Wall Street Journal’s product, pricing, and/or distribution models. Time is running out for many in the industry.