Press release: 2016 report

With 95% of French people reading at least one daily newspaper or magazine each month, the French press is a powerful medium. On February 16th, the Alliance for Press and Media Figures (ACPM) published the 2016 figures for paid distribution in France (DFP). The mainstream press saw its DFP down 3.2% last year, less than in previous years. Though the national daily newspapers and women’s magazines get the better of the game, the news magazines continue to plunge. Focus on distribution’s winners and losers in 2016.

The distribution champions

Of the 273 magazines whose 2016 release has just been published by the ACPM, only 68 are on the rise. The national daily press recorded a large paid distribution in France.

  • The General Publishing Team showed the best growth, +3.86%, with 232,299 copies;
  • Le Monde, +0.63%, with 269,584 copies;
  • and Les Échos, +0.59%, with 127,389 copies.

With 420 million copies, the women’s press represents an important segment of the French press, with 30% of the paid circulation of the magazine press and 27.7 million readers, 66% of whom are women. Santé magazine recorded an increase of + 4.3%, with Elle recording + 0.7%.

The losers in distribution

According to the ACPM’s press release on February 16th, the French press, as a whole, saw its circulation in France decline by 3.2%, but this decline is less pronounced than in previous years, In fact, -3.8% in 2015 and -4% in 2014. Single-issue sales decreased by 7% in one year, subscription is at -4%, take-aways at -2%. The regional newspapers, whose DFP is down 2.9%, all end 2016 in negative, with the exception of Paris Normandie, +11.7%, which merged with Le Havre Libre.

  • The leader Ouest France recorded a decrease of -2.5%;
  • Sud Ouest -3.7%;
  • La Voix du Nord -5.1%.

News magazines also suffered, ending the year at -9.8% (-8.5% in 2015). Despite the launch of a new formula in March, l’Express recorded a progression of -13.5%. The leader in news magazines, L’Observateur recorded a progression of -10.4%, and Le Point -6.5%.

The digital challenge

Digital is a lever of power and rejuvenation of the press. Boosted by the launch of the SFR Presse kiosk in April 2016, digital versions increased by 53%.  The digital press received more than 15 billion visits, an increase of 8.4%. Philippe Rincé, CEO of the ACPM, said that “the downward trend is slowing down for almost all major press groups, due in particular to the rise of digital broadcasting. The national daily press benefits most from the boom of digital versions: these now represent 17.3% of the paid France distribution, an increase of 5% compared to 2015.

Considering what is currently taking place with the evolution of the digital press, we could well ask ourselves whether there will be a new kind media in a few years, and how it will work? A story that is to be continued…