Week three is the big test for the recently launched Sun on Sunday. The Guardian lends its thoughts to the issue: ”This would be the week for a hot scoop. Without it, industry guessers reckon that sales of The Sun will be below 2.5m, possibly below 2.4m.”
Contrast this with Rupert Murdoch’s supposedly triumphant return to the Sunday tabloid market in the UK on 26 February, when the launch edition was bought by more than three million people.
Consider this – how many of these readers bought the paper out of genuine interest or out of pure curiosity, wanting to see how the new launch would make its impact on a sluggish weekend paper market? Another factor is how many were swayed by the price point? Both editions have so far been priced at 50p, with the Sunday Mirror reducing its cover price accordingly to compete with The Sun on Sunday for its in launch edition. However, it’s worth noting The Sunday Mirror has since reverted back to its full price of £1.
Moving on to week two and The Sun on Sunday is thought to have lost more than 500,000, a fall of about 17% week on week according to industry estimates.
This is below the hopes of Murdoch himself. A new recruit to Twitter, he took to the social media forum to outline his hopes for the paper’s second outing commenting: “What will second Sunday edition of Sun sell? My guess down fifteen per cent would be a great result.”
Despite a huge advertising campaign and activity around its launch, it seems The Sun on Sunday is already struggling. The various inquiries, such as the Leveson inquiry, have highlighted the activities of News International employees in a negative light, and have generated an inevitable knock-on effect in terms of perception of the publication – both the weekday and weekend versions.
All eyes will be on the publication’s third outing this weekend with much of the industry considering:- will The Sun shine on Sunday?