Dwindling circulation pushes NST to digital-only in Sabah, Sarawak
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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — New Straits Times (NST) and two Malay dailies under the same publisher will cease to have their physical copies circulated in Sabah and Sarawak from tomorrow onwards.
According to local daily Berita Harian (BH), three papers published by the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd (NSTP) will only be available in the digital version in east Malaysia starting from tomorrow.
The three papers are NST, BH and Harian Metro.
According to BH, readers will be able to subscribe to its digital version with a three-month package costing RM49 and a one-year package costing RM159.
BH said its readers in Sabah were excited as they would be able to read the news directly from their smartphones without having to visit shops to buy the papers.
According to the latest Audit Circulation Bureau of Malaysia’s figures, the nationwide circulation numbers for NST, BH and Harian Metro during the July 2016 to December 2016 period are respectively 54,490 copies; 91,229 copies and 142,262 copies.
The figures for the second half of 2016 were a slight improvement from the preceding six months of 44,090 copies for NST and 90,969 copies for BH, and a slight decrease from 149,253 copies for Harian Metro then.
When compared to the July-December period in 2012, NST recorded markedly higher circulation figures during that period with 93,321 copies, while BH and Harian Metro similarly had higher figures of 130,463 and 227,666 copies then.
As for Sabah, NST had circulation figures during the July 2016 to December 2016 period of 541 copies, while BH and Harian Metro recorded 1,212 copies and 3,435 copies respectively.
For Sarawak, NST had during the same period of July 2016 to December 2016 recorded circulation of 852 copies, while BH and Harian Metro had 1,412 and 3,593 copies in circulation respectively.
The dwindling nationwide circulation figures over the past four years for the newspapers is seen across the board, with the Bahasa Malaysia papers collectively dropping from over 2.08 million in July-December 2012 to 1,279,750 copies in July-December 2016.
The local English-language papers collectively went down from 797,784 copies to 745,943 copies copies during the same period with a gap of four years, while the Chinese-language papers similarly dipped from 850,232 copies to 776,965 during the same period.