The ABC figures for the first half of the year show that times are still tough in the magazine world, despite some improvements in circulations as the effects of the recession lift slightly.
Here we take a look at how some of the country's biggest publishers have found 2010 so far…
Bauer Consumer Media
- Total circulation down 5.8% to 2,814,745 per issue (average net circulation/distribution; all percentages are year-on-year comparisons)
- Biggest rise: Classic Cars, up 5.2% to 37,424
- Biggest fall: Zoo, down 27.9% to 80,026
Of Bauer's 21 consumer titles, only three – Classic Cars, Car and Kerrang! – managed to post year-on-year positive sales increases during the first six months of 2010.
Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media said: "Bauer Media's portfolio of influential brands continue to deliver compelling content that connects and engages with audiences wherever they are."
- Total circulation up 3.1% to 2,952,806.
- Biggest rise: Lonely Planet Magazine, up 34.4% to 54,708
- Biggest fall: In the Night Garden, down 25.2% to 60,060
BBC Magazines claims that its subscriptions now stand at 886,472, with 98.7% of its portfolio actively purchased.
Peter Phippen, managing director, said: "Once again we have bucked the trend with increased sales across our portfolio, becoming the UK publisher with the highest number of subscriptions… I'm particularly proud of the success of Lonely Planet Magazine, which, in addition to winning several prestigious awards since its launch 18 months ago, has grown its circulation by an impressive 34% year on year."
- Total circulation up 2.8% to 1,539,661
- Biggest rise: Tatler, up 1.8% to 86,448
- Biggest fall: Easy Living, down 5.5% to 170,054
No shock results for Conde Nast, which will be satisfied that the UK edition of Wired, launched in mid-2009, has met its one-year monthly sales target of 50,000. The company adds that Wired's subscriptions grew 58% period-on-period in the first half of the year.
Nicholas Coleridge, head of Conde Nast UK, said: "This strong story – with every Conde Nast title gaining sales – demonstrates the resilience of quality magazines. As the market shows clear signs of a recovery, our glossy titles and cross-platform innovations position us perfectly for continued growth."
- Total circulation down 5.5% to 616,857
- Biggest rise: Disney's Princess, up 7.9% to 67,502
- Biggest fall: Numberjacks, down 41.1% to 25,393
Debbie Cook, director of magazines, said: "In what remains a challenging and competitive market, Egmont is very pleased to have recorded yet another excellent set of ABC circulation figures.
"Egmont Girls Group has continued to push for aggressive growth, with outstanding results from Go Girl, Disney Princess and Barbie magazines helping us secure the highest percentage share of primary girls and pre-teen markets."
H Bauer Publishing
- Total circulation down 4.6% to 3,052,641
- Biggest rise: Total TV Guide, up 1.2% to 109,022
- Biggest fall: TV Quick, down 21% to 113,936
Liz Watkinson, publishing director of H Bauer's listings portfolio, which includes TV Quick, said: "Total TV Guide is constantly evolving, our readers are early adopters and enjoy being the first to know about new programmes and TV technologies, we've responded to this by adding a popular section on digital news to help readers keep up with the latest developments."
- Total circulation down 3.9% to 992,177
- Biggest rise: Elle Decoration, up 9.4% to 63,479
- Biggest fall: Sugar, down 19.4% to 113,320
Kevin Hand, Hachette chairman, said: "Whilst the winds of change continue to blow and confidence in the economy remains a little uneasy, these ABC figures give reassurance that high quality titles, that are markedly different to the competition, will still attract strong consumer demand and in turn deliver attractive audiences for advertisers.
"Digitally, Hachette continues to reach a greater and more engaged audience than ever. Digital Spy recorded its highest-ever traffic in July reaching nearly 8m unique users, while ELLEuk.com's organic traffic is growing at +65% year on year and now has a twitter following of 120k."
- Total circulation: down 0.9% to 385,346
- Biggest rise: FourFourTwo, up 1.1% to 95,080
- Biggest fall: Autocar, down 4.7% to 47,646
Haymarket Consumer Media's MD David Prasher said the company's performance was "encouraging" and was thanks to "continued focus on and investment in high quality, specialist magazines. And we're happy with that."
He said: "We're able to demonstrate to our advertisers that this approach will continue to deliver and sustain high quality, engaged audiences with which they can continue to communicate in the long term.
"This becomes even more compelling as Haymarket's brands experience ongoing growth of their online and digital audiences.
- Total circulation: down 3.7% to 537,839
- Biggest rise: up 29.7% to 175,869
- Biggest fall: down 24.9% to 231,617
Total circulation: down 3.3% to 5,738,111
Biggest rise: Essentials, up 12.9% to 115,432
Biggest fall: Loaded, down 26.3% to 53,591
Despite some heavy losses, IPC CEO Evelyn Webster said the company's investment in quality publishing was "paying off".
She said: "Key IPC brands have outperformed the market in a number of key sectors: in women's lifestyle, in fashion, in homes, in the real life and traditional weekly sectors, in TV entertainment, in music and within our men's portfolio. IPC brands continue delivering on the newsstand."
The National Magazine Company (NatMags)
- Total circulation: up 1.4% to 3,050,689
- Biggest rise: Real People, up 11.5% to 225,145
- Biggest fall: Prima Baby, down 10.8% to 41,041
In its centenary year, NatMags has a healthy mix of steady risers and modest losses.
Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chief executive, said: "Since 1910, NatMag has continued to lead the way in publishing – from the early day of pioneering magazines, through wartime austerity, the boom times of the 1960s and the recent global economic difficulties. So it's no surprise to see that we are still going strong 100 years later."