TIMES OF ESWATINI CIRCULATION REACHES AN ALL TIME LOW OF JUST 12 000 COPIES SOLD
The country's biggest daily newspaper, The Times of eSwatini, has hit an all time circulation low of just 12 000 daily readers. This comes at a time when all hard copy newspapers are struggling in the region.
Most media Publishers are now opting for a hybrid model that involves both online presence and hard copy circulation. Africa Echo, the Publishers of the Times group of newspapers—which includes of eSwatini, eSwatini news, Times SUNDAY and the Weekender—is the biggest media company in the country with over 50 years of experience in the industry.
According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa's Q2 2023 recent survey the newspaper is now sitting at just 12 000 circulation in a population of over 1.2 Million. This however may pose an advertising threat to the newspapers as it will be difficult to justify paying for expensive advertising when the newspaper has such low circulation.
This does not, however, mean that the newspaper is read by just 12 000 people but indicates sales per day. Most people share newspapers which means the circulation may not reflect the number of people who read the actual newspaper. As traditional publishing models continue to be challenged by the digital age online platforms and social media are changing how information is consumed.
In the region local newspapers seem to be leaning more towards a hybrid model (the combination of a free and paid model). As the ABC says, “Publishing in the current financial climate is navigating a dynamic landscape where economic pressure, technological advancements, and shifting consumer behaviours intersect." In total, in fact,in Q2 2023, hybrid newspapers distribution increased to 89, 933 in Q2, 2023 (Q2, 2022, hybrid newspapers distribution was 74,606). This constitutes a 10% increase in circulation compared to Q1, 2023 and a 20% growth from Q2, 2022, to Q2, 2023.