Newspaper sales down in Estonia as digital media subscribers increase

A selection of Estonian newspapers and magazines.
A selection of Estonian newspapers and magazines. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

According to data provided by the to the Association of Media Enterprises (EML), newspaper sales in Estonia fell slightly this January when compared with the previous month. Meanwhile, digital subscriptions to online media outlets are on the up.

Of Estonia's daily newspapers, Õhtuleht had a circulation of 33,800 paper editions in January, while Eesti Päevaleht sold 9,200 copies. A month before, the figures were 33,900 and 9,400 respectively.

Postimees, which also produces a daily edition, stopped publishing its circulation figures in 2021, seeing no intrinsic value in doing so, as it does not accurately reflect the number of the paper's readers or subscribers. Postimees Editor-in-chief Priit Hõbemägi said, that the company's position has not changed since then.

The weekly newspaper with the highest circulation in Estonia was Maaleht, selling 42,000 copies this January, the same as in December. Eesti Ekspress had a circulation of 20,600 in January, up from 21,100 in December.

Circulation figures for Estonia's regional newspapers are also published on the EML's website. However, this only includes data for the country's so-called independent publications, thus excluding Postimees Group publications (Järva Teataja, Lõuna-Eesti Postimees, Pärnu Postimees, Sakala, Tartu Postimees, Virumaa Teataja).

Harju Elu sold 7,000 copies in January, while  Lõunaleht had a circulation of 5,000. The monthly circulation figures for the other regional papers are as follows: Saarte Hääl 4,700, Põhjarannik 4,000, Sõnumitooja 3,200, Võrumaa Teataja 3,000, Lääne Elu 2,400, Vooremaa 2,100, Raplamaa Sõnumid and Hiiu Leht 2,000.

The magazine, which sold the highest number of copies in Estonia last month was Teleleht (29,500). Kroonika sold 25,800, Naisteleht 19,000, Tiiu 16,800, Eesti Naine 16,500, Imeline Ajalugu 15,000, Maakodu 14,300 and Ristik 14,000. All others sold under 10,000 copies.

In parallel with the decline in sales of newspapers' paper editions, the number of digital subscriptions to online private media outlets has increased.

Data regarding digital subscriptions to online media outlets is provided by the EML on a quarterly basis. According to the most recent figures, in December, the total number of digital subscribers to Delfi Media, Äripäev, Õhtuleht Kirjastus and Võrumaa Teataja, was just over 135,000, a 2.5 percent increase from November.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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