Honouring the printed word… still

Bucking international trends, Austrian print media grows

In contrast to the oft-quoted “crisis of the print media” brought about by the Internet, Austrian newspapers continue to hold – or even expand – their market share. According to figures released in July by the Austrian Audit Bureau of Circulations (Österreichische Auflagenkontrolle – ÖAK), an industry association of media and advertising companies, three national dailies were able to increase their sales in the first half of 2011, compared to same period a year earlier: Kronen Zeitung, Oberösterreichische Nachrichten and Der Standard.

Kronen Zeitung, a tabloid, remains far and away Austria’s highest-selling newspaper; during the week it sold on average 796,174 copies over the counter and via subscriptions in the first half of this year (thus excluding bulk sales and Sunday issues), marking a tiny increase of 151 on the previous year. As such, its circulation is almost three times that of the second-highest selling daily, the Kleine Zeitung (277,445 copies).

The two major free dailies also increased their circulation: Heute raised its free distribution by 35,000 to 571,552, while Österreich’s went up by 80,000 to 248,370. The latter, which is listed by ÖAK as a free paper but also sells at kiosks, lost sales by about 10,000 to 89,445.

Regarding weeklies, the tabloid Die ganze Woche remained the clear market leader, upping weekly sales by  3,318 to 330,373 copies. NEWS saw a reduction of 6,482 to 114,615, while Profil boosted its sales by 2,103 to 65,043 copies.

With its continued growth, the Austrian print media industry defies the downward trend in Western European countries. By comparison, during the same reference period, all British daily newspapers but one – The Independent – saw declining sales figures.

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