Emap regains its Mojo after 'upping ante'

By Alyson Fixter

Heavyweight music monthly Mojo has beaten rival Uncut in the sales
race for the first time since 2003, regaining publisher Emap control of
the top end of the music mag sector.

The drop in sales for eight-year-old Uncut, edited by veteran rock
journalist Allan Jones, will be a disappointment for publisher IPC,
which until this month had recorded 14 consecutive sales rises for the
title. The music and film magazine now sells 110,015 copes a month,
down 2.5 per cent year on year, while Mojo is selling 114,626, up 14.2
per cent.

Mojo relaunched a year ago and has heavily marketed the
title since. At the last ABC results in February, Emap pledged to push
sales past Uncut and regain the top end of the market along with
market-leader Q.

Stuart Williams, publisher of Emap’s music
titles, said: “We were very clear that we had a fight on our hands so
we really upped the ante. We always believed we were numbers one and
two in the market, so we went back to the drawing board and said: ‘Why
do people love Mojo?’

“Mojo is about great music, it’s not about film [like Uncut].

“More
people are consuming music in more different ways and so we
repositioned as a music users’ magazine rather than just as a guide to
which albums to buy.”

Jones said he was “not disheartened” by the Uncut figure and attributed the drop in readership to “experimentation”.

He added: “Uncut has set new standards for our sector and we’ve forced all our competitors to respond.

“Emap belatedly did this with Mojo by putting in massive investment, but their newsstand sales are actually down.

“They
might have spent about three and a quarter million promoting Mojo in
the past few months and their success has been at a high price.

“We
can attribute our slight shortfall to editorial experimentation, [but]
we’ve tried various different editorialcover stories that we were very
proud of.”

Meanwhile, IPC’s flagship music weekly, NME, has seen
a year-on-year sales rise of 5.2 per cent, buoyed up by guitar bands’
increasingly mainstream appeal.

And the market’s other weekly, Emap’s rock title Kerrang!, also saw a sales rise of 3.1 per cent.

Stuart Williams said: “This is a very exciting time for music magazines.”

Meanwhile,
Future’s two niche music titles, Metal Hammer and Classic Rock, both
saw circulation jumps, with Metal Hammer recording a 20.9 per cent rise
to 40, 236 and Classic Rock a rise of 15.2 per cent to 44,349.

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