Magazine ABCs 2011
ABC period July to December 2011
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.
Bauer Media "steadied the ship" at celebrity weekly magazines Closer and Heat in the final six months of 2012, as the crowded market suffered from a lack of famous weddings and Now fared poorly.
Change is sweeping across the magazine industry and its Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABCs) is evolving fast to try and reflect these changes, says ABC's group executive director of client services, Jan Pitt.
BBC Top Gear Magazine continues to lead its rival car magazines by the proverbial country mile, according to ABC figures published today, but almost the entire sector has stalled as wider economic issues bite.
IPC Media's May 2011 launch, Style at Home, has achieved a 36.6% period-on-period increase in its second set of ABCs, while Kelsey Publishing's GoodHomes reported the highest year-on-year rise.
The circulations of IPC's Soaplife and Hearst Magazines' Inside Soap have fallen significantly year on year, although the majority of TV titles avoided large declines, according to the July to December 2011 magazine ABC figures.
IPC Media's flagship music title, NME, recorded a double-digit, year-on-year fall in circulation during the second half of last year, while three other leading music magazines suffered the same fate.
Good Housekeeping is close to overtaking Glamour as the best-selling women's lifestyle and fashion title, after gaining more than 80,000 copies on the market-leading Condé Nast title.
IPC's 100 year-old title Woman's Weekly is steering a serene course through the general decline in the traditional and real life women's weekly sector, with louder relative Pick Me Up again down dramatically.
FHM, the former leader in the men's magazine sector, has recorded a 9.5% dive in circulation over the final six months of last year according to the latest magazine ABC figures released today.
Household magazine brands Elle and Company are among 56 magazine brands which have reported paid-for digital edition numbers via ABC for the first time, but it is men's titles Men's Health, T3 and GQ that have registered the highest circulations.
Private Eye, the £1.50 satirical magazine, is the notable standout performer in one of the few remaining growth sectors for UK magazines, as its half-century celebrations helped achieve 25 year circulation highs.
ABC period January to June 2011
The first six months of 2011 proved be another challenging period for magazines in the UK, with notable winners and losers across the top 100 magazines by circulation.
Customer publishing, once dismissed as vanity publishing, accounted for six of the top 10 largest circulating magazines in the first six months of the year, and a quarter of all titles in the Top 100.
Circulations in the TV listings sector have shifted towards lower-priced titles, with the private equity-bound Radio Times dropping 4.9% year on year while H Bauer's TV Choice and IPC's What's On TV gained ground.
BBC Homes & Antiques posted the greatest circulation rise year on year in the homes and gardens sector, but increased bulk copies helped some magazines in the home interests sector avoid year-on-year circulation falls.
Private Eye, the satirical fortnightly title, has retained its position as the UK's leading domestic current affairs magazine ahead of its 50th birthday celebrations in the autumn.
Bauer Media-owned Heat has reported the steepest circulation drop in the celebrity weekly sector, falling to improve since the loss of editor Sam Delaney, and down more than a fifth since the first six months of 2010.
The average weekly circulation of the NME dropped below 30,000 over the first half of the year as leading music magazines suffered heavy sales falls, figures released today reveal.
BBC Top Gear Magazine has increased its dominance among the automotive titles by virtue of holding sales steady while rivals fell, with Bauer's Car down 13.5%.
Hearst magazines' latest ABC results, before the group merged Natmag and Hachette Filipacchi, show there remain challenges ahead, with former Natmag title Company posting the biggest drop in the women's lifestyle sector, falling 17.1% year on year.
The men's traditional lads' titles continue their eye-watering falls, typified by weekly Zoo falling more than 32% on the year, but some of the lesser-known health titles offered some respite for publishers.
While publishers, media agencies and advertisers mull over the latest magazine ABC figures, here's a look back at some of the methods used by the press to promote their titles during the first six months of 2011.
Ahead of today's magazine ABCs, PPA chief executive Barry McIlheney offers his thoughts on the evolving magazine industry and the need to look beyond the headline print figures.
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