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Magazine ABCs: Hello! overtakes OK! for the first time in 15 years

Hello!'s circulation has overtaken OK! magazine for the first time in 15 years, according to the latest report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Hello!: magazine tops OK! in the ABCs

Hello!: magazine tops OK! in the ABCs

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The celebrity and royalty-focused magazine reported a combined digital and print circulation of 276,943 for the first six months of the year, down 4.0 per cent from the final period of 2013.

In comparison, Northern & Shell's OK! magazine's had a combined circulation of 276,169, a decline of 10.4 per from the final six months of 2013.

Charlotte Stockting, the publishing director of Hello!, said: "If I were to look for one [reason behind Hello!’s success] consistency would be it. We’re stable on the newsstand, which is desperately difficult to achieve, especially when we are not discounting or [giving away] sunglasses or make up.

"With all of that we are the only positive magazine. We look for the best in people. You can look at Hello! and feel good about your life."

Hello! benefited from an exclusive interview and pictures with Zara Philips and Mike Tyndall, following the birth of their first child. "Royalty, celebrity and society is in our DNA," Stockting said.

Hello! moved from the women's weekly section of the ABC report to the women's lifestyle section in 2012 after claiming that the lifestyle category better resembled Hello!'s "upmarket" values yet OK! is still a major competitor.

Despite dipping behind in terms of overall circulation, Stan Myerson, the joint managing director of Northern & Shell, said OK "continues to completely dominate Hello" on the newsstand, selling more than a quarter more copies.

Each of Northern & Shell's three women's weekly magazines reported double-digit declines. Star's fall was the steepest, down 18.9 per cent period on period to 212,266.

New had a combined circulation of 327,800, down 13.4 per cent although it retained its position as the biggest celebrity-focused weekly.

IPC Media's Woman and Woman's Own were the only women's weekly magazines to increase their combined circulation in the first half of 2014.

Woman had a combined print and digital circulation of 254,939 copies, up 1.1 per cent on the previous period (July to December 2013). Woman's Own reported a combined circulation of 226,195, which was a very small increase (0.03 per cent) on the last six months of 2013.

Roger Cummings, the publishing director of Woman and Woman's Own at IPC Media, attributed the magazines' success to the publisher reinvesting in "key areas bother for the consumer and our commercial partners".

Cummings said the magazines' performance was an "evolution" of a strategy that came with Woman's redesign in 2011 and Woman's Own's redesign in 2012 in addition to their editorial team's "understanding of the audience's needs".

Bauer Media's Closer reported a combined digital and print circulation of 312,917 in H1 2014, down 7.2 per cent from the final six months of 2013, while its sister title Heat had a circulation of 219,992, down 8.8 per cent.

Magazine Combined total ave circ Combined total prior period chnge Print: total ave circ Print total prior period chnge Print total prior yr chnge Digital total ave circ Digital total prior period chnge Digital total prior yr chnge
Bella 195,193 -9.36% 195,193 -9.36% -6.62%      
Best 205,552 -1.51% 205,307 -1.55% -3.21% 245 55.06% -29.80%
Chat 308,518 -6.82% 307,276 -6.84% -6.22% 1,242 -3.04% 32.13%
Closer 312,917 -7.20% 311,637 -7.58% -11.37% 1,280    
Heat 219,992 -8.84% 218,779 -9.34% -9.24% 1,213    
Love It! 103,308 -8.33% 103,308 -8.33% -17.55%      
My Weekly 106,351 -4.63% 106,351 -4.63% -5.37%      
New! 327,800 -13.35% 322,818 -13.68% -16.45% 4,982 14.82% 70.62%
Now 181,168 -7.91% 179,249 -8.05% -13.95% 1,919 7.93% 71.80%
OK! Magazine 276,169 -10.40% 268,761 -10.82% -14.95% 7,408 7.91% 68.29%
Peoples Friend 230,069 -4.16% 229,848 -4.25% -5.47% 221    
Pick Me Up 163,516 -10.97% 162,920 -11.07% -6.21% 596 31.86% 131.91%
Real People 170,074 -8.61% 169,775 -8.57% -2.34% 299 -28.47% -42.61%
Reveal 167,018 -6.38% 165,508 -6.41% -4.20% 1,510 -3.51% 3.57%
Star 212,266 -18.92% 210,915 -19.09% -5.71% 1,351 22.48% 103.46%
Take a Break 657,282 -5.63% 657,282 -5.63% -8.79%      
That's Life 252,786 -9.32% 252,786 -9.32% -8.14%      
Woman 254,939 1.07% 253,987 1.07% -0.66% 952 0.95% 106.06%
Woman's Own 226,195 0.03% 225,440 0.00% 2.21% 755 11.03% 61.32%
Woman's Weekly 305,983 -0.45% 305,589 -0.49% -3.67% 394 45.39% 93.14%

This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

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