Reasons to be cheerful in the magazines sector

The release of the six-monthly consumer magazine circulation results from the ABC certainly isn’t welcomed with open arms like it once was. Five years ago, magazine sales were riding high and publishers were smug as the cash poured in, whereas now the majority keep their fingers crossed that their titles have not spiralled into an abyss.

However, the UK can take comfort in the fact that magazines here fared better than those across the Atlantic. In the US, total circulation for July to December 2009 was down 2.2% compared with the same period the previous year.

The UK’s overall rate of decline has slowed with this latest set of results and there is more optimism than pessimism as total circulation fell by 1.3% in the second half of the year.

However, there have been some excellent success stories, including 10 rises in the women’s monthlies sector, nine in children’s and a handful in both health and parenting and sport.

In the weeklies market, Full House and Bella both bounced back from having a hard time in recent years with circulation and retail sales value increases, and the sector as a whole managed to grow its newsstand sales by £3.5m to generate an estimated £485m a year in retail sales value.

The state of the industry may still be a long way off what it was, but it’s certainly still worth supporting.

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