Downloads bolster sales of music titles

Q has managed to arrest a five-year decline due to the rise of the “iPod generation”, according to Emap bosses.

All
the music monthlies have increased or remained steady in sales this
year as a result of a boom in interest in guitar bands, buoyed up by
the increasing popularity of downloads.

Q , which was relaunched
a year ago, now sells 162,574 copies a month, a year-on-year rise of 1
per cent – its first since 2002. Stablemate Mojo, also relaunched last
year, showed a 7 per cent increase, bringing it only 2,000 sales behind
its closest rival, IPC’s Uncut.

Marcus Rich, managing director of
Emap Performance, which publishes Q , Mojo and Kerrang!, said: “The
number of people who now own iPod Minis or shuffles is generating
renewed interest in rock music, particularly in back catalogue, because
people can download individual songs rather than albums.

“People
are getting excited about music again. We’ve recognised that in our
relaunch, for example with our section on 1,000 songs you should
download right now.”

But IPC Ignite! publishing director Eric Fuller insisted Mojo would not close the gap with Uncut any further.

He
said: ” Uncut is unstoppable, with the 14th consecutive ABC rise, and
that’s been achieved against much more aggressive competition from Mojo.

” Mojo has moved to the model where they put a CD on the cover of every issue, which has been a very expensive change for them.”

In
the music weeklies, IPC’s NME remained on top in its ongoing battle
with heavy metal title Kerrang!, despite a drop of 4 per cent, compared
with a year-on-year decline of 11 per cent for its Emap rival.

However,
Marcus Rich said he was happy with Kerrang!’s performance. He added: ”
T he period has been driven by arthouse bands, which are more the NME’s
area. This year bands like Green Day and Feeder will be bringing new
records, so we’re certain the next six months will see Kerrang! go up.”

The
biggest winner this year was Future’s Metal Hammer, which achieved a
year-on-year sales jump of 31 per cent to 38,313 copies.

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