The Goss on the Glossies

Magazine Circulation Audit Results December 13

Woman With Magazine

Overall there was some good news to be found for the magazine market place as a whole with several categories and titles performing strongly. Total magazine sales were however down 13% YOY.

The celebrity weekly category took a big hit again down overall over 14% YOY. OK! and Famous posted the largest decline of -18% with NW at -14%. Woman’s Day and New Idea both decreased slightly at -4%. it would seem that these results would not bode well for the new Bauer 50+ women’s title Yours which launched this month however initial sales reports (to be released next week), will show a strong first audit – higher than the predicted 80,000…so perhaps this title has resonated with the target set and will re-introduce new or lapsed readers back to print.

AWW was relatively flat YOY declining by a modest -4%. This title has stabilised over the last few audits so no doubt Bauer will be happy with this result.  It remains the biggest selling magazine in the Australian market at 451,235 copies. Bauer are planning to launch at least another 2 key magazine launches in Q2 (produced solely for the Australian market) which demonstrates their commitment to invest in the print market.

A different story in the women’s lifestyle category with most titles within the set recording decreases YOY. Cleo and Cosmo continued their downward spiral, falling again by -17% and 14% respectively, however there is still an appetite for print amongst young women readers with RUSSH and Frankie again the standout performers up 5.6% and 4.6% respectively, both have a clear point of difference in the young women’s market and continue to grow. Elle launched to 61,000 average copy sales, right on Bauer’s initial target, so will be interesting to see if this figure is sustained next audit. Marie Claire remained flat YOY, Pac Mags invested heavily in marketing support of this title to combat Elle’s launch which seems to have paid off for them.

Within the fashion set, InStyle, Harpers and Vogue remained stable YOY. Shop Til You Drop is now selling 40,000 copies as a fortnightly magazine – so on track to increase their monthly average sales (at 65,000 copies).

Special mention must go to the youth category with both Dolly -22.3% & Girlfriend -23.3% recording big losses. The importance of investing in 360 brand offerings i.e. social and digital, with these mastheads is now the publishers key focus as has been commented on heavily in the trade press.

Home & Garden category remained stable YOY with most major mastheads increasing sales which shows there is still much interest in home improvement and renovating – mirroring the success of TV offerings (eg; The Block, Better Homes & Gardens). Real Living and Home Beautiful both (up 8%) and Grand Designs (+ 6%) led the increases in copy sales. 

Food & Entertainment was a mixed bag this audit. Sales at the prestige end of the market all fell – Gourmet Traveller (-8%), delicious (-12%) and donna hay (-10%). Taste.com.au magazine posted a strong first audit of 80,583 copies perhaps gaining readers from the above established titles as the category overall has not grown YOY.

The Men’s Lifestyle category fell -17.2% driven by Zoo Weekly continuing its massive decline by losing -34.9% copy sales – now only selling 37,000 copies…it is hard to see this will be sustainable even in the short term for a weekly title. Men’s Health also declined by -8% YOY.

The Health & Family category was flat YOY with all titles posting decreases. Bauer’s Women’s Fitness was the star performer up 21% YOY. Women’s Health also declined by -7% in copy sales. There is now an overload of titles competing for readers in this category – all with similar mastheads which could be contributing to a decline in sales across most titles.

Overall, in a marketplace that is constantly under scrutiny, several key categories performed strongly indicating some positive future growth.

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