Of the multiple crises that have shaken publishing groups in Spain in recent years, the paper crisis is one of the most headache-inducing for their managers. Since 2012, more than 6,000 kiosks in Spain have been forced to close, according to the latest report on the Periodicals Industry, prepared by the University of Santiago de Compostela and the University of A Coruña. On the other hand, paper has lost 8.6 million readers since 2008, the year of the origin of the global crisis, which was also a significant turning point in history.
In order to compensate for the loss of paper readers, the main publishers have increased the price of their copies. In the last ten years, the price of the six main generalist newspapers printed in Spain – El País, El Mundo, ABC, La Vanguardia, El Periódico de Catalunya and La Razón – has increased by an average of 15%.
In 2013, the average price of paper copies was 2.3 euros, 35 cents less than this year’s average (2.65 euros), which includes El Periódico de España. For this analysis, the price of Sunday editions has been taken as a reference, as they are the most extensive and have the largest circulation, with the exception of El Periódico de España, which does not publish on Sundays in print. The evolution is even greater when compared to 20 years ago. In 2003, buying a newspaper at the newsstand on Sundays cost an average of 1.64 euros, i.e. 62% less than today.
El País, El Mundo and ABC, the most expensive and La Razón, the one that has increased its price the most.
Currently, the newspapers with the highest prices are El País, El Mundo and ABC, with 3 euros. Vocento’s newspaper has maintained this price since 2016 and El País has increased its price this year by 20 cents, the same increase that Unidad Editorial’s newspaper applied in 2021.
El Periódico de Catalunya is the only newspaper that has kept its price stable over the last decade, at 2.5 euros. It is exactly the same condition and price that La Vanguardia had been registering, until this year, when it has increased 30 cents, to 2.8 euros.
The newspaper with the most volatile price has been La Razón. From 2003 until now, its price has increased by 1 euro, making it the newspaper with the highest increase in price, although it is still one of the cheapest generalist newspapers. El Periódico de España was launched in October 2021 and its price – 2 euros – has not changed since then. Currently, this Prensa Ibérica newspaper is the cheapest.
Moreover, the significant rise in the price of paper in a scenario of inflation this year adds to the challenges faced by publishing groups in sustaining the traditional newspaper format.