Magazine circulation UK 2020: Breakdown of UK mag sales by genre

UK magazine circulations for 2020: Full breakdown shows average 6% year-on-year drop

UK magazine circulation figures fell by an average of 6% year-on-year in 2020, according to the latest ABC figures.

Newsstand sales of many magazines were hit by the Covid-19 lockdowns closing non-essential retail and restricting travel, but subscriptions for some brands soared.

The 6% average decline was worked out using every magazine title whose latest circulation was published in ABC’s biannual report on Thursday.

For some titles it uses full-year figures while others are July to December only. The figures include digital editions where applicable and some include non-UK circulations where specified.

[Read more about the news and current affairs magazine ABCs: The Week Junior thrives under lockdown]

Among the hardest-hit were ES Magazine, the Evening Standard’s free weekly lifestyle title which paused publication for six months and returned in September. It returned with a weekly distribution of under 200,000 compared to 357,606 in the second half of 2019.

Slimming World Magazine saw its circulation fall by 36% between July and December while Bauer’s Heat and Closer saw decline of 35% and 32% respectively. Bauer pointed to 40% year-on-year subscription growth at Closer and digital growth of 42%, adding that Heat had digital growth of 86%.

[Read more about how women’s, men’s, tech and entertainment magazines fared in 2020]

Chris Duncan, Bauer Media UK’s chief executive of UK publishing, noted that these ABC results “cover a period of extraordinary disruption” for both readers and retailers.

Meanwhile in the second half of the year The Week Junior, published by Dennis, grew by 37% – potentially down to need for home schooling during lockdown.

The home and food genres performed well in general, with Garden Answers growing by 35%, BBC Gardeners’ World by 31%, Landscape by 28%, food magazine Olive by a quarter, and Garden News by 18%.

In current affairs, The Big Issue and The Spectator grew by 13% and 11% respectively – the former despite having to change business model when its vendors were stopped from selling it on the streets.

UK magazine circulation 2020: News & current affairs

Publication Publisher UK and ROI total ABC total Year-on-year % change Free copies Months in audit period
Private Eye Pressdram Ltd                    224,937 -1% 6
The Economist The Economist Newspaper Ltd                    126,535 -20% 6
The Week Dennis Publishing Limited                    126,055 -7% 3,676 6
The Week Junior Dennis Publishing Limited                       94,687 37% 6,814 6
The Spectator Spectator (1828) Ltd                       79,723 11% 2,579 12
New Scientist New Scientist Limited                       51,559 -21% 246 12
The Oldie Oldie Publications Ltd                       44,208 0% 1 6
London Review of Books LRB Limited                       41,873 11% 4,154 12
Time Magazine Time Magazine UK Ltd                       31,934 -40% 6,367 12
MoneyWeek Dennis Publishing Limited                       31,573 -11% 1,401 6
New Statesman New Statesman Ltd                       30,333 -7% 5,055 12
Prospect Prospect Publishing Ltd                       27,375 -30% 1,556 12
The Critic Locomotive 6960 Ltd                       19,422 10,704 2
BBC Sky at Night Immediate Media Company                       17,011 9% 12
What Franchise Aceville Publications Ltd                       13,346 6% 13,307 12

* The Economist and The Week digital publications are counted separately: The Economist is 150,421 in the UK and The Week is 29,827.

[Read more: New Statesman celebrates 40-year paid-for sales record]

UK magazine circulation: Entertainment/tech/men’s lifestyle

Publication Publisher UK and ROI total ABC total Year-on-year % change Free copies Months in audit period
Time Out Time Out Magazine Ltd 310,736 1% 310,254 6
GQ Conde Nast Publications Ltd 89,189 0% 30,821 12
Men’s Health Hearst UK 88,023 -20% 6,573 12
Empire Bauer Media 61,422 -13% 1,275 12
The Big Issue Big Issue Ltd 47,973 13% 12
Viz Comic Dennis Publishing Limited 40,244 -5% 18 12
Wired Conde Nast Publications Ltd 37,191 2% 11,920 12
Mojo Bauer Media 32,224 3% 927 12
BBC Science Focus Immediate Media Company 30,430 -16% 12
Classic Rock Future Publishing Ltd 23,421 -8% 12
Total Film Future Publishing Ltd 20,148 -21% 12
What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision Future Publishing Ltd 19,033 -6% 1,127 12
T3 Future Publishing Ltd 18,386 -21% 12
BBC Music Magazine Immediate Media Company 12,724 -8% 12
Doctor Who Magazine Panini UK 12,624 -6% 136 12
Fortean Times Dennis Publishing Limited 11,158 -1% 47 12
The Big Issue South West The Big Issue South West Ltd 9,970 -15% 12
Big Issue North The Big Life Company Ltd 9,770 -11% 12
Sight and Sound British Film Institute 9,542 -7% 630 12
Gramophone MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd 9,404 -6% 107 12
The Big Issue in Scotland The Big Issue in Scotland Ltd 6,250 -20% 12
Big Issue Cymru The Big Issue Cymru Ltd 3,667 -26% 12

UK magazine circulation: TV listings

Publication Publisher UK and ROI total ABC total Year-on-year % change Free copies Months in audit period
TV Choice Bauer Media 1,041,826 -5% 6
What’s on TV Future Publishing Ltd 689,427 -10% 12
Radio Times Immediate Media Company 496,965 -6% 6
TV Times Future Publishing Ltd 126,437 -10% 12
Total TV Guide Bauer Media 84,019 -5% 6
TV & Satellite Week Future Publishing Ltd 77,545 -9% 12
Inside Soap Hearst UK 69,704 -13% 12

Women’s interest/lifestyle

Publication Publisher UK and ROI total ABC total Year-on-year % change Free copies Months in audit period
Tesco Magazine Cedar Communications Limited 1,913,746 -1% 1,913,746 6
ASDA Magazine Hearst UK 1,825,000 2% 1,825,000 12
Waitrose & Partners Food John Brown 665,877 -2% 665,877 6
Good Housekeeping Hearst UK 410,241 -2% 1,178 12
Stylist The Stylist Group Ltd 404,614 0% 401,569 6
Take a Break Bauer Media 365,869 -11% 6
Slimming World Magazine Miles-Bramwell Executive Services Ltd 315,026 -36% 26,445 6
Woman & Home Future Publishing Ltd 209,017 -17% 3,492 12
Prima Hearst UK 207,766 -3% 12
WI life Wi Enterprises Ltd 200,430 -4% 12
Woman’s Weekly Future Publishing Ltd 189,263 -9% 12
BBC Good Food Immediate Media Company 186,036 8% 6
ES Magazine Evening Standard Limited 183554 -0.49 183554 6
Yours Bauer Media 177,121 -19% 135 6
Take a Break Monthly Bauer Media 169,918 -1% 6
Country Living Hearst UK 169,114 2% 1,101 12
Cosmopolitan Hearst UK 167,654 -14% 49,657 12
Vogue Conde Nast Publications Ltd 164,231 1% 37,988 12
That’s Life Bauer Media 155,859 -9% 6
Chat Future Publishing Ltd 147,162 -12% 12
Bella Bauer Media 140,171 -4% 1,975 6
The People’s Friend DC Thomson Media 135,627 -4% 379 12
HELLO! Hello! Ltd 131,458 -21% 1,691 12
Red Hearst UK 127,043 -18% 6,367 12
Ideal Home Future Publishing Ltd 109,484 -5% 5,000 12
Sainsbury’s Magazine Seven C3 106,876 -16% 11,064 12
Closer Bauer Media 103,781 -32% 4,616 6
Woman Future Publishing Ltd 102,431 -11% 12
Harrods Magazine Harrods Ltd 98,326 -7% 105,497 12
Elle (U.K.) Hearst UK 96,355 -16% 51,523 12
New! Reach Magazines Publishing plc 96,106 -28% 4,946 12
Woman’s Own Future Publishing Ltd 94,581 -12% 12
House & Garden Conde Nast Publications Ltd 93,845 1% 25,435 12
Women’s Health Hearst UK 88,840 -28% 5,758 12
Harper’s Bazaar Hearst UK 84,361 -17% 46,208 12
House Beautiful Hearst UK 84,342 -4% 1,076 12
Your Home Immediate Media Company 83,374 -7% 962 12
Real People Hearst UK 83,360 -14% 12
OK! Magazine Reach Magazines Publishing plc 83,222 -26% 12
Best Hearst UK 83,143 -17% 12
Grazia Bauer Media 79,670 -19% 11,061 6
My Weekly DC Thomson Media 72,533 -6% 1,431 12
Heat Bauer Media 70,504 -35% 5,332 6
Love It! ACH Publishing 69,320 -10% 6
Tatler Conde Nast Publications Ltd 68,347 -3% 36,096 12
Style at Home Future Publishing Ltd 64,418 13% 12
Pick Me Up Future Publishing Ltd 62,325 -16% 12
Homes & Gardens Future Publishing Ltd 59,819 -18% 11,465 12
Platinum DC Thomson Media 58,690 15,940 12
25 Beautiful Homes Future Publishing Ltd 52,913 3% 12
Country Homes and Interiors Future Publishing Ltd 52,123 -3% 12
HELLO! Fashion Hello! Ltd 51,240 -25% 369 12
delicious Eye to Eye Media Ltd 51,197 -6% 6
Vanity Fair Conde Nast Publications Ltd 47,798 -4% 24,564 12
Living etc Future Publishing Ltd 44,694 -3% 12
HomeStyle Immediate Media Company 44,443 -12% 1,154 12
Elle Decoration Hearst UK 41,311 -13% 1,010 12
World Of Interiors Conde Nast Publications Ltd 36,055 -1% 10,030 12
Olive Immediate Media Company 33,360 24% 215 6
BBC Easy Cook Immediate Media Company 25,064 -2% 6
Period Living Future Publishing Ltd 24,774 2% 12
The English Home – UK Edition The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd 24,711 -6% 1,868 12
Homes & Antiques Immediate Media Company 23,879 -7% 12
BBC Home Cooking Series Immediate Media Company 22,233 -10% 6
Real Homes Future Publishing Ltd 22,018 3% 12
The Lady The Lady 20,893 -7% 1,662 12
Homes & Interiors Scotland Peebles Media Group Ltd 9,554 -22% 602 12
Ireland’s Homes Interiors and Living Magazine Ireland’s Homes Interiors and Living Magazine 7,638 28% 42 12
All Ireland Kitchen Guide Ireland’s Homes Interiors and Living Magazine 2,770 41% 12

Leisure interests inc home, sport & motoring

Publication Publisher UK and ROI total ABC total Year-on-year % change Free copies Months in audit period
The National Trust Magazine National Trust 2,676,535 2% 12
Nature’s Home RSPB 585,638 -3% 12
English Heritage Members Magazine Immediate Media Company 445,521 0% 12
Waitrose & Partners Health John Brown 444,150 0% 444,150 12
The Garden RHS Media 440,565 0% 12
My VIP (Pets at Home Magazine) John Brown 357,844 -26% 357,844 12
Caravan and Motorhome Club Magazine Caravan and Motorhome Club 347,570 0% 12
Camping and Caravanning Camping & Caravanning Club Ltd 298,367 -1% 12
BBC Gardeners’ World Immediate Media Company 216,663 31% 6
Saga Magazine Saga Publishing Ltd 212,689 -6% 4,925 6
Boundless Motoring & Leisure Services Ltd 178,365 -8% 12
Shooting and Conservation The British Association for Shooting and Conservation 133,235 -1% 12
British Horse Redactive Publishing Limited 96,050 4% 12
Waterlife Think Publishing 85,260 -6% 12
Conde Nast Traveller Conde Nast Publications Ltd 70,182 4% 32,839 12
Garden Answers Bauer Media 58,142 35% 112 6
Runner’s World Hearst UK 52,471 -10% 127 12
BBC Top Gear Magazine BBC Worldwide 49,375 -31% 2,308 12
National Geographic Traveller APL Media 45,997 -2% 14,273 12
Motor Cycle News Bauer Media 43,230 -10% 218 12
London Review of Books LRB Limited 41,873 11% 4,154 12
Garden News Bauer Media 39,587 18% 107 6
Car Bauer Media 38,196 11% 312 12
BBC Countryfile Magazine Immediate Media Company 37,602 -5% 12
Country Walking Bauer Media 36,950 12% 148 12
Landscape Bauer Media 35,881 28% 44 12
Country Life Future Publishing Ltd 35,273 -2% 2,018 12
Countryside The National Farmers Union 34,254 -3% 9,006 12
Auto Express Dennis Publishing Limited 33,478 -7% 176 12
Today’s Golfer Bauer Media 33,346 -10% 235 12
What Car? Haymarket Consumer Media 33,207 -15% 57 12
Classic & Sports Car Haymarket Consumer Media 31,090 -10% 551 12
Steam Railway Bauer Media 30,291 -4% 119 12
Practical Classics and Car Restorer Bauer Media 29,749 -12% 216 12
Match of the Day Immediate Media Company 28,440 -12% 12
Bike Bauer Media 27,655 -3% 241 12
Land & Business Redactive Publishing Limited 27,296 -6% 12
Gardens Illustrated Immediate Media Company 26,568 2% 12
Modern Gardens Bauer Media 24,158 -9% 63 12
BBC Wildlife Immediate Media Company 23,830 -12% 12
The English Garden – UK Edition The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd 23,798 -3% 1,379 12
Ride Bauer Media 23,741 -12% 135 12
Cycling Plus Immediate Media Company 23,438 -5% 12
Evo Dennis Publishing Limited 22,863 -15% 829 12
Hornby Magazine Key Publishing Ltd 22,838 -3% 12
Horse & Hound Future Publishing Ltd 22,666 -14% 12
Classic Bike Bauer Media 22,398 -12% 155 12
Four Four Two Future Publishing Ltd 22,128 -26% 12
Classic Car Weekly Bauer Media 20,052 -6% 265 12
The Field Future Publishing Ltd 19,906 -10% 12
Classic Cars Bauer Media 19,758 -17% 315 12
Model Rail Bauer Media 19,619 -4% 123 12
Scots Magazine DC Thomson Media 19,592 -3% 1,299 12
Autocar Haymarket Consumer Media 19,531 -16% 330 12
Mountain Biking UK Immediate Media Company 18,765 1% 12
Angling Times Bauer Media 18,424 -5% 104 12
Octane Dennis Publishing Limited 17,950 -12% 1,718 12
Trout & Salmon Bauer Media 17,872 9% 156 12
Improve Your Coarse Fishing Bauer Media 17,807 -1% 97 12
Rail Bauer Media 17,493 -8% 263 12
Trail Bauer Media 17,178 -9% 103 12
Land Rover Owner International Bauer Media 16,955 -15% 248 12
Dalesman Country Publications Ltd 16,936 -7% 88 12
Cyclist Dennis Publishing Limited 16,779 -1% 106 12
Bird Watching Bauer Media 16,359 9% 200 12
Homebuilding & Renovating Future Publishing Ltd 15,626 -10% 12
Motor Sport Motor Sport Magazine Ltd 15,487 -22% 661 12
Practical Sportsbikes Bauer Media 14,087 -17% 118 12
Airliner World Key Publishing Ltd 13,683 -14% 12
Scottish Field Wyvex Media Ltd 13,485 -12% 182 12
Practical Boat Owner Future Publishing Ltd 12,201 12
Build It Castle Media Ltd 11,381 -8% 3,504 12
Airfix Model World Key Publishing Ltd 10,268 10% 12
Yachting Monthly Future Publishing Ltd 10,060 -15% 12
RPS Journal The Royal Photographic Society 9,226 -3% 12
SelfBuild & Design Waterways World Ltd 9,206 -12% 1,282 12
Motor Boat & Yachting Future Publishing Ltd 6,301 -15% 12
Yachting World Future Publishing Ltd 4,541 -12% 12
The English Garden – North America  Edition The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd 12

Children’s magazines

Publication Publisher UK and ROI total ABC total Year-on-year % change Free copies Months in audit period
Peppa Pig Bag-o-Fun Redan Publishing Ltd 62,743 -5% 6
Frozen Immediate Media Company 57,939 0% 6
First News First News (UK) Ltd 57,633 -7% 4,759 12
LEGO Special Series Immediate Media Company 50,314 22% 6
CBeebies Special Immediate Media Company 49,681 3% 6
LEGO NINJAGO Immediate Media Company 49,564 -11% 6
Fun to Learn – Peppa Pig Redan Publishing Ltd 47,284 10% 6
CBeebies Magazine Immediate Media Company 46,792 -2% 6
The Beano DC Thomson Media 43,971 9% 494 12
Pokemon Immediate Media Company 43,438 3% 6
Fun to Learn – Friends Redan Publishing Ltd 40,929 5% 6
Top of the Pops Immediate Media Company 40,856 -3% 6
LEGO Star Wars Immediate Media Company 40,773 6
CBeebies Art Immediate Media Company 38,309 -2% 6
PJ Masks Immediate Media Company 38,132 24% 6
Girl Talk Immediate Media Company 37,986 5% 6
LEGO CiTY Immediate Media Company 34,256 -8% 6
Andy’s Amazing Adventures Immediate Media Company 34,191 -5% 6
LEGO Super Hero Legends Immediate Media Company 33,946 6
Hatchimals Immediate Media Company 32,800 8% 6
Sparkle World Redan Publishing Ltd 29,605 9% 6
Mega Immediate Media Company 29,590 3% 6
Frozen Funtime Immediate Media Company 29,116 -7% 6
Fun to Learn – Favourites Redan Publishing Ltd 27,972 3% 6
Disney Princess Create & Collect Immediate Media Company 23,122 6
Baby Shark Immediate Media Company 22,393 6
Disney Stars Immediate Media Company 22,143 -32% 6
Girl Talk Art Immediate Media Company 21,011 -5% 6
Ultimate Immediate Media Company 20,210 6
LEGO Disney Princess Immediate Media Company 18,190 6
Activity Series Immediate Media Company 18,104 8% 6
Hey Duggee Immediate Media Company 13,231 7% 6
Mr Tumble Something Special Immediate Media Company 9,828 -37% 6

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Comments

1 thought on “UK magazine circulations for 2020: Full breakdown shows average 6% year-on-year drop”

  1. The difference between Time Out’s total-circulation figure and its free copies is nearly 500, implying that number are paid for. Has a subscription service been quietly reintroduced or made available to selected customers only, despite its 2019 discontinuation, since when Time Out and its distribution agency have repeatedly refused to send copies postally even when offered payment? It seems bizarre and almost unheard-of for companies to turn away easily-fulfillable custom.

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