The latest ABCs released showing results for January to June 2011 show mixed results, with only a few sectors managing to buck the general downward trend.
TV and home interest titles delivered a robust set of ABCs – not completely surprising given the current state of the economy and more people opting to stay at home and invest their pennies into home refurbishment rather than moving to another property.
Women’s glossies have stacked up well, illustrating that women still want their ‘me time’ magazine moment, while celebrity market figures represent a lack of traditional ‘celebrity’ offering over the past 6 months. Of course, The Royal Wedding has helped the likes of OK! and Hello!, with both investing in up-weighted print runs and wedding-focused editorial. But the likes of Heat and Closer have had a much less successful time.
The Men’s market has continued to struggle, with Zoo losing just under a third of its readers’ year-on-year, with FHM and Nuts also posting considerable declines. The question has to be raised whether some of these consistently poor performing magazines will go the way of Arena and close. However, one ray of shining light is the free magazines, who continue to maintain high levels of distribution.
MEC View: We’ve seen some good results for the likes of Hello! recently, while the home interest market has also performed well. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the majority of the market.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. These declines may be due to the fact many readers are accessing their favourite magazines beyond the page via their computers and iPads. While the magazine market may be heading towards a natural equilibrium in terms of circulation, the majority of publishers will be looking to invest more in digital – which could mean magazines as a brand will continue to grow. Total offline and online reach, therefore, continues to be relevant.