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

6 Comments

  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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