Q's ABC troubles begin to fade

A change in editorial direction helped reverse Q’s fortunes, resulting in a 12 per cent period-on-period sales increase to 180,215.

The magazine continued to show a 10.2 per cent drop year-on-year, having suffered the humiliation of having its previous sales decline doubled after Emap was found guilty of breaking ABC rules in November.

Publishing director Stuart Williams said: “We made a concerted effort in the last six months to find out who is out there buying CDs and they are younger than they were. Fifty-two per cent of our readers are now aged 15 to 24. Five years ago it was more like 25 per cent.”

Uncut and Classic Rock performed best, Uncut up 24.6 per cent to 91,204 and piling on readers to narrow the gap between it and nearest rival Mojo, which averaged sales of 100,418.

IPC Ignite! publishing director Eric Fuller said: “These new figures prove that Uncut is continuing to deliver exactly what its readers want, and is maintaining its hold on the elusive upmarket male more efficiently and in greater numbers than the traditional men’s press.”

Kerrang! and NME also recorded growth, while Metal Hammer fell 11.3 per cent.

The dance titles suffered dramatic losses, blamed on the cyclical nature of the market. Despite the closure of Ministry last October, Mixmag lost one in three readers, down 34.7 per cent, while Muzik fell 11 per cent, although it was up 0.2 per cent period-on-period.

Williams said the music sector would be kept alive by launches.

Xfm’s X-Ray, Bang from Future and Word from ex-Emap stars David Hepworth and Mark Ellen have recently entered the market and Emap is researching three ideas for new music magazines.

Williams was sceptical about Word’s chances of survival. “After seeing the first issue, we’re not worried. Word reminds me of Mojo six or seven years ago. If they can build a business round that then that is fine, but it’ll be tough.

“Word is an ambitious project and I would like to like it, but I think they are going to have trouble selling enough copies,” he said.

By Mary Stevens

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