The ABC magazine circulation figures for the first half of 2006 have delivered some comfort to publishers as sales are up in the UK overall despite dwindling in some sectors.
The total volume of consumer magazines circulated over the past 12 months increased by 51 million copies or 3.5 per cent with the number of copies actively purchased in the last 12 months increased by 12.3 million copies or one per cent.
Sales dipped 1.2 per cent overall in the women's lifestyle sector, with IPC-owned Essentials magazine suffering a 37.6 per cent period-on-period drop to
74,189. Easy Living was up 17 per cent to 200,083.
The men's monthlies suffered a bloodbath, with nearly all the major titles suffering year-on-year circulation declines. Dennis-owned
Maxim (down 35.8 per cent) suffered most while Emap rival FHM lost just under a quarter of its readers, down
24.9 per cent to 420,688. Stuff, however, gained 19.8 per cent to post average sales of 92,672 in the first half.
News International's real life magazine Love It may have lost several key staff in
recent months but it has gained circulation and hit its 400,000 sales
target. The success of Love It and NatMags' Real People appears to have come of the expense of older real life titles owned by Bauer and IPC which reported a
drop in circulation.
Among the celebrity gossip weeklies, Closer beat Emap stablemate Heat to second place. Closer was up 9.3 per cent year-on-year to 590,211 while
Heat was up 3.5 per cent to 579,883 year-on-year. Northern & Shell's New!
climbed 23 per cent year-on-year to weekly sales of 458,751.
A fifth of teen magazines' readers ran away, continuing the trauma for the sector. Emap’s Bliss remained on top but down 22.7 per cent
year-on-year to 213,466. The teen entertainment sector, which has been shrinking since the closure of Smash Hits! and Sneak this year, Top of the Pops was down 16.6 per
cent to 116,858 and It’s Hot!, its sister BBC title, was down 19.5 per
cent to 66,168.
The big news weeklies were not harmed by the departure of well-known editors. The Spectator rose 4.4 per cent
year-on-year to 70,090 in the first half of 2006 under new boss Matthew
The Economist, now enjoying sales of more 1 million worldwide – is looking
solid in the UK, posting a sales rise of 4.3 per cent
year-on-year to 162,112 in its first figures since the departure of Bill Emmott.
IPC’s What’s on TV? held on to its position at the top of the TV
listings magazines sector despite increasing competition from Bauer’s TV Choice. What’s
on TV? posted an ABC of 1,509,519, down 9.8 per cent year-on-year while
its Bauer rival was up 11.2 per cent year on year to 1,287,773.
Rock titles made a noise in the music sector, with Emap's weekly heavy metal magazine Kerrang! rising 24.2 per cent to
80,186, an increase only bettered by Classic Rock magazine – which rose
26.4 per cent to 56,037.