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Summary:

One circulation metric that wasn’t down year-over-year for U.S. newspapers during the first half of 2010: the total number of subscribers to…

NYT on iPad for Breakfast
photo: Corbis / David Brabyn

One circulation metric that wasn’t down year-over-year for U.S. newspapers during the first half of 2010: the total number of subscribers to their e-editions, a broad category that includes digital replicas, online-only subscriptions, Kindle subscriptions, and products like Times Reader.

Leading the pack was the Wall Street Journal, which boasted nearly 450,000 electronic subscribers, a figure that was up nearly 10 percent year-over-year. Number two, once again, was the Detroit Free Press, which ended five day a week print delivery nearly two years ago and has encouraged subscribers to take an electronic edition of the paper on some days instead.

It’s worth noting that some of the biggest gainers, such as the San Jose Mercury News and the Philadelphia Inquirer benefited from the consolidation of subscribers from sister papers. Also, declines and gains can come from shifting definitions — not only market demand. Read on for our list, which details how the top 25 have fared over the last year and a half.

  1. The reality is that most of the digital editions are sold as add-ons to print subscriptions, meaning there’s no quantification of how many of these digital subscriptions are actually used or read.

    As print subs continue to decline, newspaper’s digital editions will also decline.

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  2. Philip S. Moore Sunday, October 31, 2010

    Whether e-editions are doing well or not seems beside the point, as long as nobody can offer a successful business model for offering an online news product. The latest numbers from NAA continue to show a great deal of time effort and money expended for very little revenue.

    It seems to me that if half as much time and effort was expended on improving subscriptions to the print product, we might be seeing more financially substantial results.

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  3. I’m short newspaper stocks until they reach ZERO.

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