"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Western Fail fails yet again

Mocking the continued failure of the self-title 'national newspaper of Wales' is now becoming something of an annual event. 2012's fun at the flopping fail can be found here and 2013's here.

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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The average circulation for their 2014 certificate is 21,127. But that also includes the freebies, if you subtract the 2,573 (average) freebies you are left with 18,554. That's the total copies sold, there are a few hundred included in that which are sold at a discounted price but let's not kick them too hard when they are down, even if they do deserve it. That gives you a massive decrease in daily sales of over 3,000 copies. In the last year the fail has hemorrhaged 15% of its sales. And that is spread across the week with sales on Saturday down to under 28,000 and weekday sales down to less than 17,000 most days.

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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