Mag ABCs, men's market: Free copies help Esquire grow circulation by 14.5 per cent

Paid-for men’s magazine Esquire saw the biggest circulation growth in its sector in the first half of 2016, helped by increasing reliance on free circulation.

Esquire’s average circulation was up by 14.5 per cent, the largest of the men’s magazines, to 64,712 copies (up from 56,499 over the same period last year). But around only around half of these copies were actively purchased.

GQ saw circulation fall by 3.3 per cent – although it printed almost twice the number of copies (117,039) as Esquire.

Forever Sports also recorded a substantial year-on-year growth of 12 per cent to 101,430 copies.

The biggest drop came from Men’s Health which saw its average year-on-year circulation fall by 7.1 per cent to 180,082 copies – down from 193,901 copies during the same period last year.

Men’s magazine circulation in first half of 2016 (source ABC)

Average circulation (print and digital), year on year change and percentage actively purchased


Title Total circulation YoY% change % print circulation paid-for
Shortlist 505,876 0.7 Free
Sport 306,384 0.7 Free
COACH 300,997 Free
Men’s Health 180,082 -7.1 71
GQ 117,039 -3.3 77.6
Forever Sports 101,430 12 85.4
Esquire 64,712 14.5 52.1
Square Mile 59,269 -0.6 Free
Wired 54,094 0.1 73.6



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