Sri Lanka newspaper circulation down in 2017

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s daily newspaper circulation has fallen in 2017, for the first time in nine years, with Sinhalese newspaper sales falling 5.2 percent, but weeklies have maintained a growth, data from the central bank showed.

Annual circulation of daily newspapers fell 3.2 percent to 398.8 million from a year earlier, based on provisional data reported by five national newspaper publishers and the Mass Media Ministry.

Daily, 1.1 million newspapers were circulated on average.

In 2017, Sri Lanka’s was hit by rising inflation from steady currency depreciation, and credit curbs, while a drought also hit incomes of rural consumers in particular. Election years also see a spike in newspaper sales.

It is not clear what role growing internet use plays on newspaper sales in Sri Lanka. In many developed markets the internet has hurt newspaper sales and advertising.

In Sri Lanka, the number of fixed and mobile internet connections in 2017 grew 20 percent to 5.9 million from a year earlier, with internet penetration increasing to 27.5 percent from 23.2 percent.

Sinhala papers led the fall, with annual circulation at 245.1 million newspapers in 2017, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

Circulation of Tamil dailies fell 1 percent to 60.2 million in annual copies from a year earlier.

Annual circulation of English dailies increased 2 percent to 93.4 million.

Continuing an 8-year trend of positive growth, annual circulation of weekly newspapers rose 7.2 percent to 136.3 million from a year earlier.





Sinhala weekly newspaper circulation also increased 9.2 percent to 91.5 million, while Tamil newspaper circulation increased 1 percent to 19.5 million and English periodical circulation increased 3.7 percent to 25.4 million. (COLOMBO, 31 August, 2018)

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