Magazine ABCs: 2019 market round-up

Magazine ABCs: 2019 market round-up

As the latest ABC circulation figures are released for the consumer magazine market, Mediatel News presents its round-up of the results. Click on the links to view the full analysis for each market, which also includes league tables and charts for Mediatel subscribers.

Women’s Lifestyle

2019 proved a challenging year for the women’s lifestyle market, with no title managing to record any notable year-on-year circulation growth.

Freebie Stylist, the flagship title of the Stylist Group, held steady at 403,900, as did Conde Nast’s Vogue (192,200), Tatler (79,100) and Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar (116,400).

Meanwhile, market leader Good Housekeeping – another Hearst title – was down -4% YoY (though up 2.6% in the second half of the year) to 433,700.

TI Media’s popular Woman & Home magazine also saw its circulation drop, down -7.8% YoY and -5.7% PoP to 259,400, as did Bauer Media’s Yours (-9% YoY and -5.6% PoP to 220,500) and HELLO! magazine (-13% YoY and -0.9% PoP to 206,900).

However, the hardest hit title over both the year and the period was Hearst’s Elle, which plummeted -22.9% YoY and -18.1% PoP to a circulation of 125,100.

Hearst attributes the decline to the recent “strategic decision to enhance its luxury positioning in the market”, aiming at an “even more tightly-targeted audience”.

Read the full article.

Men’s Lifestyle

Conde Nast’s Wired fared the best of any title in the men’s lifestyle category in terms of maintaining its circulation, holding steady at 50,000 copies.

However, the rest of the market was universally down over both H2 and the year as a whole, with market leader Men’s Health, a Hearst magazine, down a further -7.5% PoP and -18.1% YoY to 120,300.

Conde Nast’s GQ fared better with a marginal -0.6% drop over the period, though the title was down -6.9% YoY to a circulation of 102,500.

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Women’s Weeklies

The women’s weeklies market is in terminal decline with all titles recording both period-on-period and year-on-year declines for two consecutive quarters.

However, some of the top performing titles do still maintain healthy circulations. Remaining at the top of the chart by some degree is Bauer Media’s Take a Break – leading the pack with a circulation of 416,700 despite being down -3.7% period-on-period and -10% year-on-year.

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News & Current Affairs

By some distance, The Economist remains the best-selling news and current affairs title according to the latest ABC figures.

Unfazed by a price rise at the start of 2019, the title ended the year with a period-on-period circulation boost of almost 6% and a year-on-year rise of almost 5%. The title has a total global circulation of 909,500 – with 153,000 in the UK.

Meanwhile, Private Eye, which places second in the rankings, made the most of our politically curious times and recorded a healthy 3% boost both PoP and YoY. The title now sells a little over 240,500.

Ranking third, Time Magazine (EMEA region) was down 11% YoY to 148,650, while the UK version was down more than -43% to 34,500.

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TV Listings

Despite Christmas usually giving the TV listings market a festive boost, only two titles recorded any growth in the final six months of 2019 – while every title was down year-on-year.

However, the top performing magazines – the majority print-only – draw sizeable circulations.

Continuing to lead the market with a circulation a little over 1.1m, Bauer’s TV Choice witnessed a period-on-period decline of -1.9% in H2 and -5.2% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, TI Media’s What’s on TV, ranked second in the market, was down -1.4% PoP to 767,800, while Immediate Media’s Radio Times, the third most popular magazine, bucked the trend and boosted its circulation by almost 2% to 529,300. However, the title was down almost 9% YoY.

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Home Interest

2019 was a mixed bag for the home interest titles – and although the majority of the market was down, 15 titles recorded circulation growth.

Market leader The Garden, which is published by RHS Media and only reports circulation figures annually, shifted 450,600 copies, a 2.6% increase over the year.

Bauer Media’s Garden Answers also grew its circulation, up 7.5% YoY to 43,300, while TI Media’s Ideal Homes Complete Guide to Christmas saw the biggest jump compared to 2018, up 16% to 62,900.

Meanwhile, Conde Nast’s House and Garden and Immediate Media’s BBC Gardener’s World held steady over the year at 112,100 and 170,300, respectively – however, BBC Gardener’s World also saw the largest H2 drop of any title reporting half year figures at -16.8%.

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