MEDIA: Winners and losers in consumer ABCs



The women’s glossies are losing their lustre in the magazine market, as

competition steps up.

Emap Elan’s Elle struggled with sales, down 7% period on period and 14%

year on year with a circulation of 191,243.

Tom Moloney, chief executive of Emap Elan’s consumer division, said:

‘The general magazines are finding it harder to differentiate


Cosmopolitan maintained its lead over Marie Claire at 460,141 compared

with 455,477, but both titles experienced an increase in growth of less

than 1%.

The mid-market monthly Prima leads the field with sales of 565,135, up

just under 3% period on period. Northern & Shell’s Chic suffered a drop

in sales of 23% period on period to 43,130.

The BBC’s Clothes Show title boasted a 14% jump in sales to 160,013

period on period.


The home magazines market is one of mixed fortunes, with overall growth

up 4% to 2.28 million compared with a 1% decline year on year.

The Ideal Home revamp won its battle to rejuvenate sales with a 28%

increase in the past six months to 238,866.

The BBC’s Homes & Antiques experienced a leap in sales of 21% for its

six month period to 153,091. The title’s publisher Seamus Geoghegan said

this means the title can now attract more mainstream advertisers.

Market leader Good Housekeeping, from National Magazines, had an average

circulation of 470,663 and continued to post a decline in sales for

January to June, with sales down just under 4%. National Magazines,

other home title, House Beautiful, also posted a decline of just over 4%

period on period to 312,309.


The circulation of several music titles hit a sour note, including IPC’s

Vox which fell from 106,000 to 88,679 year on year.

The market appears to be saturated and with Vox, Q and Select all priced

between pounds 2.20 and pounds 2.50, music fans are choosing just one

title. The market leader remains Emap Metro’s Q which has nudged sales

up slightly by 0.4% to 215,057. Select is up on the first six months of

last year by 4%. But its circulation of 105,128 is down by almost 7%

period on period. Niche titles appear to be the way of the future. IPC’s

dance title Muzik is up 11.6% to 45,236. And the heavy metal title

Kerrang! is up by 6.5% to 43,163.

The oldest swinger in town, NME, is still pulling in readers (up just

over 1% year on year, to 117,251), while Melody Maker is having a

tougher time down 8.7% to 55,288.


Men’s monthly titles are still flexing their media muscle. The sector as

a whole grew by 21%, with increases across Loaded, FHM, GQ and Esquire.

IPC’s Loaded continues to be the launch sensation of the 1990s, up 37%

period on period to 238,955. Emap Metro’s FHM has also seen phenomenal

growth with sales up 58% over the last year to 181,581.

Esquire grew less than 1% in the six month period to 107,580, 3% down

on the year-on-year figure.

Chris Hughes, publisher of National Magazine’s Esquire, said: ‘These

titles have quite clearly touched a certain nerve that people want at

the moment.’

Conde Nast’s GQ grew 2% period on period to 131,074. The spin-off

quarterly GQ Active will be launched monthly next year, confirmed

Stephen Quinn, publisher of Vogue.


The football magazine market appears to have peaked.

Of the 15 magazines tracked by ABC, nine fell in circulation between

January and June, and those recording growth showed an increase in sales

of just over 1%.

Emap Pursuit’s magazine, Match, fell below its 200,000 mark for the

previous period, to 165,675. IPC’s Soccer Stars fell 22% over six months

and 34% year on year, while its new title Goal achieved a circulation

figure of 52,504.

Haymarket’s title FourFourTwo, one of the first monthly football

magazines to launch, suffered a 4% drop in sales to 83,703 in six

months, but year on year achieved a 21% increase in circulation.

The BBC will launch a weekly title, Match of the Day, and remains

bullish about its plans.


The teenage market boom is waning, with 5% growth in the past six

months compared with the 21% rise is sales year on year, and an average

circulation of just over two million.

Attic Futura’s magazine, Sugar, continues to lead the pack with sales of

361,764 and in the six months to June sales grew by 14% and 38% year on


Emap Elan’s It’s Bliss is taking the market by storm, breaking the

300,000 mark with sales of 322,063 - up 23% over the previous six

months. Emap’s other teen title, Just Seventeen, is not faring well and

down 34% year on year and is down 19% to 162,490 for January to June.

Tom Moloney, chief executive of Emap’s consumer division, said: ’ In the

youth market we are seeing the market fall flat and competitive activity

has been share swapping.’


The women’s weeklies market, characterised in the past few months by

aggressive price cutting tactics, will continue to be dominated by

guerrilla promotions as publishers try to reverse the continuing

downturn in sales.

IPC’s magazines, Eva and Woman’s Realm, suffered a 19% and 9% drop in

circulation respectively.

Overall, out of the nine titles tracked by ABC, six suffered a fall in

sales in line with the overall decline in the weeklies market of 4% from

January to June.

Referring to the future of Woman’s Realm, Nigel Davidson, group managing

director of IPC’s Weeklies Group, said: ‘There will be a major overhaul

of its editorial focus. We will make its position at the mature end of

the classic market very much more evident. The title is set to be

revamped in the autumn.’


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