ABC has released its circulation certificate for the fail and it makes for grim reading. As a recap average sales of the fail were down to 23,717 copies last year but that included all the freebies the Cardiff-centric rag were giving away down in Swansea. The figures after the freebies were subtracted was just 21,728. This figure is the average across the week with over 31,000 on Saturday down to around 19-20,000 during the week.
This year's figures are much, much worse.
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As with previous posts I have then worked out how many copies have been sold based on Wales' population. For this year I am going to use the population figures from the 2011 census as opposed to any revised estimates from the ONS. The estimates will put the population even higher than the census figure so I am effectively being generous to the fail by using the 2011 data.
In 2012 it worked out as 1 in 118 people in Wales were a fail reader, in 2013 it worked out as 1 in 141 people in Wales were a fail reader. What will 2014 bring us?
Wales population (3,065,000) divided by circulation (18,554) equals 165. That means if you were in a room with 164 other people (who all lived in Wales) then statistically there would be one fail reader in that room.
It has also increased the amount of freebies it is giving away, it's now giving away over 15,000 free copies every week, that's 13% of the papers that are read.
Whilst it's true that almost all titles have seen a decrease in sales the fail is the only national newspaper in Wales. Why it doesn't therefore try and be a Welsh national paper instead of yet another British tabloid is a mystery and one which may never be solved before the fail's eventual demise, at least its demise in its current form.
The fail has made a big effort over the last year to grow its social media presence, churning out an endless supply of shitty list based articles. 10 best castles in Wales, 20 best beaches in Wales, 15 sayings only the Welsh will understand etc. In fact just think of a number then some random words and add 'in Wales' on the end and you have their next piece.
The Western Fail is an anti-Wales, anti-Welsh rag whose sales are in terminal decline. Even some rugby fans have turned their back on it due to its resemblance to a WRU propaganda machine during the most recent standoff with the regions.
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