What is a (Print) Circulation

Glossary > Circulation

💬 Definition of (Print) Circulation:

(Print) Circulation is the average number of copies of a publication per publishing day. The circulation figures can differ from the copies sold, called paid circulation because not all readers buy a copy to read it. 

Related questions about Circulation

What’s the difference between readership and circulation?

Readership refers to the number of people that read a specific publication. These numbers are usually higher than the circulation number since one copy of a publication can be read by more than one person.

Circulation is the count of how many copies a publication distributes. The newspapers in question provide these numbers but can also be audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The readership number estimates how many people read one copy of a publication. If a household is subscribed to one publication, multiple people can read it. This is why readership is always higher than circulation, and the relationship between the two is called readers-per-copy (readership divided by circulation). 

How do you find the circulation of a publication?

You can search for the newspaper’s name on Google and get the circulation figures. You can also try to use the Audit Bureau of Circulations data.

What is book circulation?

You can find the term in book publishing too, but it’s a bit different. It’s a library term that refers to lending books or other library materials to people. They have to return those materials back to the library.

Note: The number of copies of a non-periodical publication (such as a book) is called a print run.

How is newspaper circulation classified?

Newspapers can be categorized into three groups according to their circulation figures:

  • Small circulation: up to 25,000 copies per publishing day
  • Medium circulation: between 25,001 to 75,000 copies per publishing day
  • Big circulation: more than 75,000 copies per publishing day.

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