Five key takeouts from the consumer ABCs

Five key takeouts from the consumer ABCs

The latest consumer magazine audience data have been released today, with today’s release covering the period ending December 2021.

While you can read every major sector’s full report (links below), here are the key takeouts from the latest report.

Surge in home interest continuing…

In the previous consumer magazine ABCs, Mediatel News noted a surge in demand for home-interest titles, such as specialist gardening and cookery titles.

This appears to have continued into the second half of 2021, with gardening titles up 6.2% year on year. However, this could be beginning to revert to the mean, as these titles were down 12.5% compared to the first half of 2021.

Even when looking at the News & Current affairs category, some of the big winners could be considered “niche” activities which are also beneficiaries of people being at home more.

…which may benefit print in particular

The data, unsurprisingly, continues to show the majority of digital circulations are on the increase relative to print.

But looking deeper, there are several home and gardening titles which saw an increased print circulation, too: BBC Gardener’s World, House & Garden, World Of Interiors, Homes & Interiors Scotland.

While this could be down to increased availability of print issues as restrictions eased last year, it may also benefit advertisers that specifically want to feature in print.

Lynsey Brook, media planner and buyer at the7stars, told Mediatel News: “As pandemic restrictions continue to ease throughout the country, we’re starting to see a number of brands, particularly those that are digital-first, redirecting their media investment back to more traditional channels such as print.

“Not only does this enable them to connect with their consumers by bringing a physicality to their brand, but it also helps boost trust, which is key in the current climate.”

TV Listings down but still huge

It was notable that the entire TV Listings market was down year on year, as the sector continues to face long-term structural issues of how people consume TV.

TV Listings remains a very large sector, however, with leader TV Choice still pulling in a million copies per edition on average. And, importantly, these titles are virtually all distributed only in print.

Consumer purchase habits are unsettled

A lack of trends elsewhere may be a reflection of purchasing habits being unsettled.

Alex Smith, investment director at media agency MG OMD explained: “The last 12 months were by no means back to normal for publishers and consumer purchase habits are still very much unsettled. In this this is having a knock on effect on circulations, which we expect to see in the this round of results.

“Publishers are under more pressure than ever especially with increases in paper costs, however 2022 looks to be a promising year with the return of many events, some of which we have already seen including Hearst’s Esquire Town House and Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year.”

Back to school

After reporting a strong first half for 2021, The Week Junior was down 7.1% year on year and 9.1% compared to the previous period in this round of ABC data.

Clearly the recently-purchased Future title had benefited from a surge in homeschooling during the first wave of the pandemic. How it builds on this increase in brand awareness post-Covid will be one to watch.

Read a full breakdown of the figures for all titles in each category:

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