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A Sun on Sunday could prove to be Sly’s Villas-Boas moment

A new Sunday tabloid with Murdoch-style bargain-basement pricing would hit rivals hard, not least the Trinity Mirror group

This time last year, the Daily Star Sunday sold 317,000 copies per Sabbath: now it sells 645,000. The Sunday Mirror sold 1,093,000: today, 1,753,000. The People: 501,000 in 2011, 771,000 now. Who’ll carry the can if the Sun on Sunday knocks all of that sideways and, after six or so weeks of bargain-basement pricing, strips its rivals of their gains?

Well (in football manager terms) Richard Desmond will be disappointed. But he owns the club. When you think of Sly Bailey at Trinity Mirror, though, then André Villas-Boas comes more to mind. Share price, 49p. Brand bolstering after the News of the World folded: scanty. Seeming readiness for a tussle with Rupert: small.

Can Sly surprise the markets by battling, back to the wall? Or will this, at last, be her AVB moment?

Could the Indy’s online dip be a sign of a maturing market?

So the Mail Online goes pounding on in January’s ABCe reckoning: up to 5.8 million unique users a day, up 19.6% on December’s figures. So, with a rather different formula, the Guardian races on in second place: 3.6 million uniques and a 22% spurt. So the puniness of the Murdoch riposte (just a quarter of the Mail’s totals for the Sun) is more digital last than first. But in many ways the most interesting result comes from the other end of the Brit digital league, with the Independent online down 20.5% to 608,856 a day.

It’s unfair to make too much of an Indie blip. Its redesigned website is naturally light on resources but heavy on effort. It competes valiantly. Yet what’s interesting is the size of the dip.

We’re used to online news numbers going up and up. But here, just as in the print market, there are suddenly losers as well as winners. This is competition as usual, swings much exaggerated. What goes up can come down. Forget clear blue skies. Start, as the market matures, to think dogfights. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds