The Miami Herald used to be one of the top 25 newspapers in America by circulation, but fell out years ago and is now only the third most-read newspaper in Florida. Until recently the Herald could boast that based on digital copies only it was still a top 25 paper, sort of. However, even the paper's digital subscriptions have fallen in the past few months. For an industry where the future lies online, that's not good news.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation released their latest newspaper circulation numbers today and things don't look good for The Herald.
Back in October 2010, ABC began changing the way it counted circulations and included digital copies and started counting "total average circulation" instead of "total paid circulation."
When ABC released its first rankings of "top 25 papers with digital editions" for the period ending in March 2011, The Miami Herald actually ranked 13th overall, with a total digital circulation of 43,469 daily.
The numbers released today for the period ending September 30 show that the Herald's digital circulation has slipped to 37,263.
The Herald currently offers a digital edition of its paper for just $1.99 a month, but notes that "The Miami Herald Digital Edition Newspaper is currently not compatible with the iPhone or iPad because of its use of Flash." The paper also sells digital subscriptions in bundles with home delivery.
Back in May, the paper debuted their iPad app, and users can get access to all stories for just 99 cents a month (top stories are free).
So, yeah, even after introducing an iPad app, the Herald's digital circulation still fell.
There is good news for the Herald however! They're now once again the third biggest paper in the state. After the ABC changed its counting methods, the Sun-Sentinel emerged as the third most read paper in the state by a narrow margin in March.
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According to the Lakeland Ledger at the time, the Sun-Sentinel had an average daily circulation of 174,641. The Herald had a circulation of 173,555.
Now, the Ledger reports that the Herald is once again third with a circulation of 160,505. You math majors out there will still notice that's a noticeable drop.
Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg Times remains the most read paper in Florida, and, coincidentally, just announced they are changing their name to the Tampa Bay Times.