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Consumer magazine circulation review - July to December 2008

Posted by: Contract Publishing UK

Date added: Mon 23 Feb 2009

Despite the credit crunch and the apparent meltdown there has been a rise in consumer magazine circulation following the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations report for July to December 2008.

Consumer magazine circulation review - July to December 2008

Despite the credit crunch and the apparent meltdown there has been a rise in consumer magazine circulation following the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations report for July to December 2008.

According to the recent circulation figures the overall number of magazines sold or distributed in the UK has grown by 3.7% year-on-year, to reach a total net average of 81,227,572 in the final six months of 2008.

However, these figures are mainly due to the growth of free magazines and customer titles, as the Homes and Garden and Men’s Lifestyle magazine sectors have been hit the hardest with falls in circulation for BBC Good Homes, 25 Beautiful Homes and Maxim experiencing another heavy loss with Loaded, Nuts and Zoo.

TV Listings/Soap Magazine Sector
Hachette Filipacchi's title All About Soap, for the second consecutive period, saw the biggest result period-on-period with an increase of 7.8% to 113,436 copies and has swapped places with H Bauer’s Total TV Guide and overtook IPC’s Soaplife.

Soaplife increased its sales to 112,275 copies, a year-on-year rise of 9.6% and 2.5% period-on-period. Total TV Guide recorded a 1% increase in sales to 111,221 copies.

H Bauer’s TV Quick suffered the biggest fall period-on-period, down by 10% to 167,507 and 20.8% down year-on-year.

Better news for H Bauer as TV Choice retained the top TV listings spot for the third consecutive period, despite losing 1.8% year-on-year with an average circulation of 1,369,088 copies, the title held off IPC's What's On TV and BBC Magazines' Radio Times.

Women’s Weekly Magazines
The big news in this sector is OK! magazine being leapfrogged by Closer following Richard Desmond’s title plunging 25%.

Bauer Media's Closer recorded a 2.4% increase period-on-period but lost 1.6% year-on-year to achieve an average of 539,991 copies to become the top celebrity title and second most popular women's weekly.

Northern & Shell’s OK! fell an incredible 25.6% year-on-year and 16.2% period-on-period to sell an average of 508,504 copies. Hello!, the great celebrity rival to OK!, recorded a 7.1% year-on-year increase, but a slight period-on-period fall of 0.8% to average 423,649 copies.

H Bauer’s title Bella in contrast to OK! was the sector’s top-performer recording a period-on-period increase of 16.9% and 1.1% year-on-year to take their average copies to 224,013. The publisher still holds the top spot as its title Take A Break recorded 943,229 copies falling 5.8%.

Women’s Monthly Magazines
The ABC figures, covering July to December 2008, show a relatively flat sector overall with 7 of the top 10 women's lifestyle and fashion titles experiencing a fall in circulation.

Condé Nast's Glamour remains the most popular magazine in the sector with an average circulation figure of 547,607 copies, a stable 0.4% decrease year-on-year.

While National Magazines Cosmopolitan, who leapfrogged stable mate Good Housekeeping in the January to June 2008 results, held second spot recording a figure of 450,836, despite a 2.1% year-on-year drop and 4.2% period-on-period. Good Housekeeping dropped more than 38,000 copies to 425,407 a 8.3% fall year-on-year.

Bauer Media's Yours held fourth spot following the last ABC results, but recorded a 9.1% period-on-period and 6.1% year-on-year circulation loss to 307,064 copies and slipped to seventh place.

However, IPC's Woman & Home continued its strong performance increasing its circulation by 5.1% year-on-year to 353,160 copies, while sister title Look climbed above another IPC title, Marie Claire increasing 2.9% year-on-year to record average weekly sales of 314,329 copies, while the monthly fell 4.8% to record a circulation figure of 314,259.

Men’s Lifestyle Magazines
The men's lifestyle sector remains dominated by the two free weekly titles, ShortList and Sport. ShortList's distribution achieved its target of half-a-million copy distribution with a 5.1% increase on the previous 6-months to record an average distribution figure of 505,970 copies.

National Magazine’s Men’s Health has taken second place in the men’s lifestyle paid-for sector following an average circulation of 250,094, up 4.1% period-on-period. IPC’s Nuts was overtaken by Men’s Health falling from 270,053 to an average weekly circulation of 234,034 a loss of 13.3% over the same period.

Bauer Media’s FHM fell 13.5% period-on-period to 272,545 copies, but still remained the biggest selling magazine in the sector, leaving only a 22,000 copy gap between the fast catching Men’s Health title.

Another Bauer Media title - Arena - posted the biggest percentage increase of the sector, recording a year-on-year increase of 16.4% to 29,374 copies. However, only 58% of circulation came from actively-purchased copies.

Dennis Publishing’s Maxim had another torrid time recording the biggest 12-month fall in the men’s lifestyle sector. The title fell 41.4% year-on-year to 45,951 copies.

IPC's Loaded suffered the next biggest year-on-year circulation drop over the second half of 2008, losing 21.7% and 5.6% on the previous 6-months to record an average 90,071 copies.

Film & Music Magazines
Bauer Media’s Q remains the number one music magazine despite dropping 28,000 copies a loss of 21.6% to 103,017 copies period-on-period. Q’s sister title Mojo fell 5.4% to 100,507 copies in the same period, leaving a mere 3,000 copies between the titles.

Future Publishing’s monthly Metal Hammer was up year-on-year by 9.7% to 50,269 copies to leapfrog IPC’s NME after the title lost 24.3% to record an average 48,569 copies in the second half of 2008.

Bauer Media's Kerrang!, experienced the biggest loss in the sector, dropping 32.1% year-on-year to 52,272 copies.

Bauer's film magazine, Empire extended its wealthy lead over Total Film with a 4.5% increase to 189,619 copies, while Future’s Total Film grew 0.3% to 85,981 copies period-on-period.

The British Film Institute's Sight and Sound film title recorded a 2.7% loss year-on-year to 19,733 copies, but still overtook DVD & Blu-Ray Review, which lost 21.5%, falling to 16,784 copies.

Home & Garden Magazines
Only 5 titles from 18 in the home interest sector recorded an increase with NatMags Coast outperforming all it rivals by adding 5,404 copies to average 42,259 copies, up 14.7% year-on-year.

IPC’s Country Homes & Interiors gained 2.2% to 88,518 copies while stable mate Homes & Gardens rose 0.1% to 140,264 copies and August Media’s Ikea Family Live title was up 0.5% recording 300,441 copies on average for the July to December 2008 period.

The rest of the sector experienced falls in circulation with notable heavy losses for BBC Home & Antiques falling 25.4% to 75,347 copies and BBC Good Homes dropping nearly 30,000 copies to 97,725, down 23.2% from the same period last year.

IPC’s 25 Beautiful Homes lost 14.2% of its sale to 102,487 copies and Essential Publishing’s Your Home dropped 13,176 copies to average 107,723, down 10.9%.

News & Current Affairs
The news and current affairs sector performed strongly with business and finance magazine Moneyweek recording a 16.6% increase year-on-year to 38,916 copies.

The sector saw a new title Sense Magazine, from John Brown publishing, which in its first issue distributed 758,107 copies on a controlled and monitored free basis to the business and finance market.

The business and finance leading title, The Economist (UK edition) recorded a 3.1% year-on-year increase with over 80% actively purchased of the total 186,995 copies. The worldwide circulation recorded an impressive 6.4% year-on-year global growth to 1,390,780 copies.

The Economists’ success story is in contrast to rival title FT Business’ Investors Chronicle, which fell 9.2% year-on-year to 30,421 copies.

Among the news and current affairs domestic titles, The Oldie achieved a 21.4% rise to see their year-on-year sales increase to 31,391 copies. Dennis’ The Week climbed to 154,512 copies seeing a 6.4% increase to its sales and the Spectator recorded its highest circulation figure with 77,146, up 2% on the year.

The sector’s number one title, Private Eye, dropped 2.1% but remained top of the pile with a recorded 203,234 copies on average year-on-year.

Teenage Magazines
Kiss magazine was one of two titles that performed in the teenage sector. Posting a 12-month submission the Minjara title recorded a 6.2% increase to 22,759 copies.

Hachette Filipacchi’s Sugar title fell 2.3% to average 153,721 and remain the sector’s top selling title. The BBC’s Top of the Pops title recorded a slight increase of 0.6% to average 125,558 copies and extend the gap between third placed Bliss who recorded the biggest loss.

The Panini title dropped nearly 40,000 copies from the same period in 2007 to post a 30.2% fall in average circulation to 90,767 copies. Panini’s other title in the sector, Mizz, fared only slightly better by recording an 18% loss in sales to 58,302 period-on-period.

Gaming & Computer Magazines
While Future Publishing dominates the gaming and computer sector it was Uncooked Media’s 360 Gamer title that recorded the biggest increase for the second consecutive period.

The title added another 4,145 copies to better its 3,421 tally from the previous period to record an impressive 29.8% year-on-year increase to 18,073 copies.

Future however had mixed results with MacFormat, Official Playstation and PSW adding circulation increases by 25%, 16.6% and 10.5% respectively, followed by losses of sale for Windows Vista, GamesMaster and X360, all down 20% year-on-year.

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