The second half of 2011 continued to be a challenging time for magazine publishers, with only four of the top 20 consumer titles achieving lifts in print circulations.
On an annual basis, the magazines included within this auditing period have a combined total circulation of 1.2 billion, which equates to 3.3m magazines being distributed every day or 2,320 every minute.
There were some relative strong performers for the six-month period from July to December 2011, with Immediate Media’s Radio Times defying the general malaise to report a weekly circulation in excess of 925,000 in its first audit since being sold by the BBC.
Bauer Media’s Closer magazine and Hearst’s Good Housekeeping also enjoyed a stronger end to the year, as did Mike Soutar’s free weeklies Shortlist and Stylist.
In general though, print declines continue to define the industry, with notable double-digit falls for Conde Nast’s Glamour and Northern & Shell’s OK! and Star magazines.
Even with growth of 9.5% period on period for customer publishers – which dominate the top 10 with magazines for Tesco, Asda, The National Trust Magazine, Morrisons and Saga - net circulation of the top 100 magazine was still down on the same period the previous year (-1.4%).
However, it is not just decline but transition that grips the UK’s magazine industry. This is the first audit period since Apple launched its Newsstand platform in October 2011.
Despite being early days, its arrival, along with other digital distribution platforms like Yahoo’s Livestand, has been widely welcomed for potentially opening up new audiences by publishers.
Some of the sales for such digital editions are included in today’s figures, as long as the editorial content is essentially the same as the print edition (5% difference). Among the best sellers of digital editions are Future’s T3 (7.779), Conde’s GQ (5,731), Hearst’s Cosmopolitan (5,675) and Dennis Publishing’s Men’s Fitness (3,987).
Barry McIlheney, chief executive of the PPA, said: "Magazines yet again demonstrate their worth in the eyes of consumers and advertisers in this latest set of circulation figures from ABC."
"In keeping with the rest of the industry, reporting standards are constantly changing. The ability to report digital edition figures alongside print circulation has been a step forward for publishers, and we will see further progress later this year when publishers can report on the Multi-Platform Certificate, launched at the end of 2011."
Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chief executive of Hearst Magazines UK, who benefitted from a near $1 billion aquisition of Lagardere’s titles in the last year, agrees.
He said: "Hearst Magazines UK is one of the most diverse and agile media companies in Britain today. We are committed to ensuring our consumers are able to access our content on the platform of their choice, in the format of their choice at their convenience – whether it’s through print, websites, mobile, apps or digital editions."
|Top 100 magazines (inc. customer publishing and free titles)|
|Title||Dec end 2011||Prd/prd||Yr/yr|
|The National Trust Magazine||1,948,384||N/A||3.5%|
|What's on TV||1,253,697||-1.6%||-0.3%|
|Tesco Real Food||1,220,503||0.3%||4.4%|
|Take a Break||791,001||-1.6%||-5.1%|
|John Lewis Edition||484,991||2.2%||0.0%|
|Slimming World Magazine||402,399||15.1%||19.7%|
|Emma's Diary Pregnancy Guide||392,345||-1.1%||2.5%|
|Woman & Home||379,896||2.6%||-1.5%|
|The Caravan Club Magazine||376,890||N/A||-2.5%|
|BMW Magazine UK||354,456||N/A||2.7%|
|Time Magazine - EMEA (excluding BI/SA)||327,279||N/A||-0.6%|
|BBC Good Food||313,009||6.2%||-5.8%|
|National Geographic Magazine||302,108||-0.9%||-1.8%|
|CSMA Club Magazine||282,005||N/A||-3.4%|
|Camping and Caravanning||266,984||N/A||4.2%|
|Pick Me Up||243,028||-7.1%||-15.3%|
|The Economist - Continental Europe Edition||241,726||0.3%||0.4%|
|BBC Gardeners' World||216,620||-18.4%||2.0%|
|All About Health Magazine||215,000||N/A||N/A|
|The Economist - United Kingdom Edition||210,384||0.0%||0.1%|
|Newsweek - Europe Edition||185,015||N/A||0.4%|
|BBC Top Gear Magazine||180,208||-5.4%||-5.9%|
|Scotland in Trust||179,970||N/A||0.2%|
|TV & Satellite Week||173,474||-1.9%||-4.2%|
|Moshi Monsters Magazine||162,838||N/A||N/A|
|Ikea Family Live||150,000||0.0%||0.0%|
|The Economist - Asia Pacific Edition||146,531||0.4%||2.2%|
|Homes & Gardens||138,868||0.8%||1.1%|
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