ABC Briefs

Test Drive stalls after launch

Test Drive, the new car magazine from Dennis Publishing which launched in November 2004, has recorded a debut ABC of 67,190.

The magazine had recorded a three-monthly circulation earlier this
year of 109,960. Paul Hudson, managing editor of Test Drive, said: “No
we’re not pleased with it, it’s too low and we are very disappointed.
But this is a slightly distorted figure in that our launch figure was
very high and then we had a slip because of repositioning and changes
at the top. We fell between two stalls. Our aim is to beat What Car?
We’ve refreshed the issue so it is clearer and more user-friendly. It
is now a more focused product.”

BBC Top Gear Magazine remains the
market leader in the motoring monthlies, with a year-on-year increase
in sales of 9.6 per cent, taking its circulation to 166,720. Top Gear’s
nearest rival, What Car?, lost 15.5 per cent of sales, taking its
circulation down to 126,220.

Gaming titles hit by slump

Games titles suffered a 6.8 per cent sales slump according to
year-on-year ABC figures. PlayStation 2 Magazine was one of the hardest
hit, enduring a loss of 24.9 per cent, dragging its circulation down to
133.242. Edge, a multi-format magazine, was the only title to see a
substantial pick-up (13.2 per cent), largely due to its world exclusive
on its first look at the Xbox 360 in June.

Future, publisher of 80 per cent of UK games titles, blames the poor
performance on the transition period between console releases. Will
Guyatt, media relations manager of Future, said: “This dip was entirely
expected. It comes at the end of every gaming generation.” Future’s
total circulation stands at 513,733 across all ten titles.

PC
magazines are also facing gloomy figures. Although market leader
Personal Computer World managed to maintain its circulation of 93,087,
its main rival PC Gamer plummeted 16.3 per cent. PC Zone also dropped
by over 20 per cent with circulation figures of 32,632.

GamesMaster
and PSM2 both held steady with 0.2 and 0.3 per cent circulation
increases respectively. PC Format was up 6.2 per cent.

Mixed performance in Ireland

Circulation of the RTE Guide, the biggest-selling title in the
Republic of Ireland, was down. Its circulation at the end of June, at
104,455, dropped nearly 2 per cent. In the same period the free Sky
Ireland magazine recorded an 11 per cent increase in distribution, to
348,130 copies. A new women’s magazine, Prudence, published by Dyflin
Publications, now has a circulation of 15,145. In Dublin magazine, with
a current circulation of 28,300, recorded a 16 per cent drop in sales.

Food for thought for Sainsbury

Sainsbury’s magazine has again reported the highest circulation
increase in the food sector up 23.5 per cent to 346,898 placing it
nearly 30,000 copies ahead of BBC Good Food. In the last ABCs the title
had a 21 per cent increase in sales.

Waitrose Food Illustrated also recorded a strong increase of 14.6
per cent in the last year taking it to 299,474. The newer food titles,
Delicious and Olive’s results are not as strong. The former has shed
8.6 per cent sales taking it down to 83,456. Olive showed a 0.8 per
cent increase and a 64,016 circulation.

Garden titles see poor growth

Green-fingered buyers appear to be spending more time in the garden
than reading about it as gardening magazines have all seen year-on-year
decreases in sales except The Garden, the membership magazine of the
Royal Horticultural Society.

The Garden gained five per cent taking it to 348,567. Market leader,
BBC Gardeners’ World has reported a 9.4 per cent decrease, taking its
circulation to 326,622.

Another BBC gardening title Easy
Gardening went down by 12.3 per cent. Garden Answers lost 25.4 per cent
and Amateur Gardening 13.1 per cent.

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