Printed press in never-ending decline: most popular newspapers barely selling 50 thousand copies
In the second half of last year, even the most popular print newspaper sold only 50,000 copies, compared to two and a half times as many in 2010. Of the top twenty press products, only three are now not part of the pro-government news media. In all cases, print newspapers are outperformed many times over by the reach of their online versions. Of the online news portals, Origo was the most visited last year, with almost one million hits a day, the statistics show.
The print press has reached a new low in 2022: never before have so few copies been actively purchased as in the second half of the previous year. According to the statistics of MATESZ, the Hungarian media distribution monitoring association, the most popular of the actively purchased newspapers was the Észak-Keleti Napló with just over 50,000 copies. In 2010, 126,000 copies were actively purchased by readers, two and a half times more than in the previous year. Thirteen years ago, Blikk was still at the top of the list – approaching 195 thousand copies.
Last year, Blikk, Szabad Föld, Kisalföld and HVG also ranked at the top of the list. The most widely read print newspapers saw their average purchases fall by thousands in the space of a year. In addition, other newspapers of similar popularity sold half as much or less. At the bottom of the top twenty are Új Néplap, Petőfi Népe and county news papers.
The decline of the Hungarian print media have started in the middle of 1990s. In the second half of 1994, an average copies of 130 thousand was distributed, compared to the second half of 2022 with 24 thousand copies.
According to a previous analysis by Átlátszó,
85% of print media products belong to the pro-government news media, only three (Blikk, HVG and Népszava) do not.
Most of the collected print newspapers have now been forced to go online, where their daily readership outweighs that of their print versions many times over. According to the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), in 2021 Blikk had the highest online reach of all print newspapers, with more than 700,000 daily visitors. This is almost fifteen times the number of print newspaper buyers.
In addition, Bors has 300 thousand online visitors and Népszava has 87 thousand. The county papers show a smaller deviation; their online readership is on average double that of their print audience.
One million daily visitors
In the last quarter of 2022, NMHH published a list of the most visited websites, with the average number of unique visitors per day approaching one million in several cases. In terms of websites, Origo has the highest daily reach: over 900,000. Blikk is now among the most visited websites in the country, approaching Origo by 2022.
Index and 24.hu also have an outstanding number of readers, with more than 800,000 a day. The list includes blogs and recipe sites with a relatively low average daily reach, as news portals and magazines are viewed by more people on a daily basis. However, the analysis shows that when considering a longer period of time, blogs can also attract many unique users.
Written and translated by Luca Pete. The original, more detailed Hungarian version of this story can be found here.