ABCs: Sales crash for men's mags as war of the lads rages on

The king of the lads’ mags, FHM, has lost nearly 14 per cent of its readers in the past year, while rivals Maxim, Bizarre and Esquire have shown even greater percentage losses in a year of major upheaval in the market.

Men’s weeklies Zoo and Nuts, launched two years ago, have racked up another period of growth, at 11.4 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively, while a relaunched Loaded has clawed back 12,000 readers since last January to show an increase of 5.4 per cent. In the past six months, however, it did lose a few of its new readers, allowing Men’s Health to edge past it in the league table.

Ex-Highbury title Front, which was bought by Remnant spin-off company SMD Publishing last month, failed to post an ABC. It was thought to be haemorrhaging readers throughout the lengthy break-up of Highbury last year, posting a figure of 88,154 in August. Plans are now afoot for a relaunch under SMD.

Despite the victories for Nuts, Zoo and Loaded, the market as a whole showed a 2.3 per cent sales drop year on year.

Men’s Lifestyle magazines ranked by circulation (average net circulation for six months to Dec, percentage year-on-year change)

  • FHM: 500,865 – down 13.6%
  • Nuts: 306,802 – up 11.4%
  • Zoo: 260,470 – up 8.4%
  • Men’s Health: 233,445 – up 1.9%
  • Loaded: 232,001 – up 5.4%
  • Maxim: 190,438 – down 18.7%
  • GQ: 126,275 – up 1%
  • Stuff: 90,750 – up 21.7%
  • Bizarre: 71,776 – down 16.4%
  • Men’s Fitness: 67,671 – up 5.7%
  • Focus: 57,306 – up 7.6%
  • Esquire: 57,306 – down 23.6%
  • T3: 54,488 – up 0.5%
  • Arena: 49,296 – up 11.2%
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