E-editions are becoming an increasingly important part of the circulation figures for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Bay Area News Group.

In the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations’ FAS-FAX report, the Chronicle reported a total daily circulation of 223,546, and 16% of those copies were e-editions.

The number of daily e-edition subscribers of the Chron has nearly doubled in one year from 16,087 to 30,860.

The growth of the Chron’s e-edition masks the decline print copies sold. Including e-editions, the Chronicle’s overall daily circulation fell 11.2% from 251,782 in 2009 to 223,549 this year.

Subtract the e-editions, and the one-year slide would have been 18.2%.

Without e-editions, the Chron’s daily circulation would be 192,689.

BANG reported 69,499 daily e-editions, which represent 17% of its 477,592 daily circulation.

BANG is the combination of the Mercury News, Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times. Those papers reported a total of 30,267 daily e-editions in 2009, indicating that BANG has more than doubled its e-edition subscribers in the past year.

Smaller papers are also using e-editions to beef up their overall circulation numbers. For instance:

    • At the Marin IJ, e-editions constitute 6.6% of its 30,040 Sunday circulation and 4.3% of its 27,027 daily circ. 
    • For the Napa Register, 763 e-edition daily subscribers make up 5.8% of its 13,992 daily circulation. 
    • The number of e-edition subscribers of the Santa Cruz Sentinel jumped from 27 to 468 in one year and now represent 2% of that paper’s total circulation of 23,465 daily and 24,126 on Sundays.

E-editions show entire pages of newspapers, as they were printed. They’re different from the news displayed for free on the websites of the same newspapers.

Bay Area Media News


  1. The churn rate for e-edition subscribers is pretty high. Retention of subscribers is a big issue that hasn't been addressed. The "exit interviews" my company does don't give us much information as to why people quit their e-edition.

  2. E-editions, because they are reproduction of actual newspaper pages, show the ads as well as the print edition. But tracking is a different matter. People aren't in the habit of clicking print ads, of course, so they don't think of clicking ads in their e-editions either. So advertisers are skeptical about whether e-editions will deliver customers as well as print.

  3. Of course, the question remains, how much money is derived from these e-editions?
    Does anyone really think that giving the newspaper, you can make a profit?
    The other question is, does anyone really click on those advertisements?

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