We thank our members for consistently driving governance in the organisation and maintaining membership with us.

I salute all the publishers implementing innovative ways to bring quality content to consumers and businesses alike.

Overall circulation increased in 2022 from 9 790 915 in 2022, Quarter three, to 10 155 903 in Quarter four, indicating a 3,73% growth Quarter-on-Quarter.

We are excited about new opportunities in publishing in 2023, and on the back of that, it seems exhibitions are also in full swing. Distribution numbers in Quarter four of 2022, in general, were still relatively flat, and it is clear that the national economic impact on households is still causing mayhem in the retail industry. It is evident that load-shedding, rising petrol prices, and electricity prices negatively affect circulation numbers. Aside from this, the effect on publishers with rising paper prices and distribution costs is not making for smooth sailing either. In short, consumers are under pressure, and we see it in the numbers.

Without Free Newspapers in the mix, the Newspaper category remains pretty even. Hybrid Newspapers have increased from 79 479 (Q3, 2022) to 82 877 (Q4, 2022) on the back of Free Newspapers. Free Newspapers would have also remained relatively flat. However, ABC welcomed three new members in this category. As a result, the movement in this category shifts from 5 466 137 (Q3, 2022) to 5 575 683 (Q4, 2022).

The Total Newspaper category moves from 6 539 215 (Q3, 2022) to 6 607 216 (Q4, 2022).

We have taken a big-picture view, using Q4 2020 as a baseline to give you an overview of what has happened in some categories since then.

Daily Newspapers have been declining consistently between a 3 – 4 percent loss every quarter. Except for Free Newspapers, all the other categories of newspapers have dropped between 10 and 22 percent, since 2020.

In the Magazine category, Custom Magazines increased on the back of Jet Club from 1 262 183 (Q3, 2022) to 1 494 116 (Q4, 2022).

In general, digital growth is drastic across the board as many publishers opt for hybrid or digital-only publications. The true impact of digital-only remains to be seen. Digital publications increased from 333 068 (Q3, 2022) to 382 135 (Q4, 2022).

In the Magazine category, Custom magazines increased distribution as well as B2B magazines if we compare 2022, Quarter 3 to 2022, and Quarter 4. As a result, the magazine category is looking up.

ABC movement in publications in Quarter Four.

  • 118 publications had an increase in circulation.
  • 161 publications had a decline in circulation.
  • 80 publications remain flat with no fluctuation.

Marketing and advertising budgets are still under pressure, which is why the ABC remains the stamp of measurement and trust in providing transparent and accurate distribution data to all marketers, media houses, and advertisers who are accountable for marketing and advertising spending.

If you are responsible for your brand’s advertising spend, ask for ABC membership and measurement. Visit www.abc.org.za

Celéste Burger – President – ABC

The Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) is a non-profit company. The primary function of the ABC is the certification and provision of accurate and comparable circulation figures of printed (magazines and newspapers) and digital data (digital publications, email newsletter circulation, and website traffic) as well as attendance at exhibitions and conferences. This is achieved through auditing standards, on the certificates, and the reports submitted. The ABC’s transparent and accurate data assists advertisers, marketers, and publishers in the accountable decision-making of buying and selling advertising and promotional material.


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