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Globe circulation continues climb

Paid digital subscriptions rise nearly 50%

Paid circulation at The Boston Globe continues to climb on the strength of digital subscriptions, which shot up by almost 50 percent in six months, according to figures released Tuesday by the Alliance for Audited Media.

The Globe’s weekday circulation, which includes print readership and digital subscriptions, was 245,572 during the six-month period ended in March — the highest since 2009 and 8.9 percent higher than figures for the same period a year earlier. Sunday circulation rose 4.6 percent to 382,452.

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The latest report marked the third straight period of gains for the Globe, after circulation fell in every reporting period from 2004 to 2011. The increases helped make the Globe the 24th highest among paid-circulation papers in the country, a year after it had fallen out of the top 25.

The Globe’s latest growth bucked a national trend. Industrywide, newspaper circulation fell 0.7 percent on weekdays and 1.4 percent on Sundays during the six-month period ended in March.

Total circulation figures for the Globe and other newspapers include some overlap between print and digital readers.

The Globe’s surge in weekday digital subscriptions to 73,524 more than offset a 12.2 percent decrease in print circulation. Six months ago, digital subscriptions totaled 49,432. The Globe digital subscription figures include 26,302 digital-only subscriptions as well as 47,222 home delivery subscribers who also access bostonglobe.com.

Seventeen months after launching a paid website, BostonGlobe.com, the Globe ranked 17th in digital subscriptions.

The Boston Herald, which charges for an electronic replica of its print edition but offers free access to its website, reported 9,810 weekday digital subscriptions and total circulation of 95,929, an overall decline of 11.6 percent.

The Herald’s Sunday circulation fell 10.8 percent to 73,043.

The Herald did not respond to a request for comment.

The top five US newspapers in weekday circulation were The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Daily News, in that order.

The New York Times was the only newspaper among the top 25 whose digital subscriptions outpaced print circulation.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter
@callumborchers.
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