The print circulation of The Economist fell 11 per cent in Asia over the last year, but readers of its digital products grew by 110 per cent to keep the title’s audience steady overall, according to the latest audited figures.
The news and current affairs title’s print numbers fell from 136,206 to 120,972 between 2013 and 2014, while digital readers more than doubled, to 31,310.
The title saw one per cent growth, or 1,152 readers, in it audience overall in Asia, according to Audit Bureau of Circulation data.
The decline in print circulation is faster than expected. In an interview in July 2013, The Economist’s Asia MD Tim Pinnegar said he expected print circulation to fall by just two per cent over the next few years in APAC.
Asia was The Economist’s second-fastest growing region for digital audience growth after the UK, which saw 295 per cent growth.
The publisher has been working hard to grow its digital audience in the region, with campaigns including a camper van touring Hong Kong offering coffee and a free one-month trial of the magazine’s mobile and online products.
The results emerge a few months after The Economist launched its first-ever daily edition, The Economist Espresso, an app designed to bring readers up to speed in just a couple of minutes on the go.
Michael Brunt, chief marketing officer at The Economist, said: “Our latest circulation numbers show, as everyone expected, that more of our readers enjoy The Economist through our apps. In fact, the vast majority of our new customers choose a digital component in their subscription, either as an exclusively digital-only subscription or as part of a combination of print and digital. This shows that, at least for The Economist, migration to digital reading is a positive trend.”