Consumer magazine sales: 12 titles up since 2014 ABC
While 10 titles have seen sales fall by more than 100,000 copies per edition, with What’s on TV being hit hardest
Twelve titles indexed in the 2014 consumer magazine ABCs have higher sales in 2019, betterRetailing analysis has found.
Garden News, CBeebies Special, The Oldie, Fun to Learn – Favourites, Toybox, Girl Talk, BBC Home Cooking Series, Mega, Peppa Pig Bag-o-Fun, BBC Gardeners’ World, Garden Answers and Slimming World Magazine have all experienced sales rises since 2014.
Of the 189 consumer magazines included in the 2014 results, 77 saw sales decline between 2014 and 2019, while 100 are no longer included in ABC data.
In the same period, 74 titles indexed on both occasions have increased their cover prices, while only two titles have reduced their cover prices.
Slimming World Magazine has seen the largest rise in sales, with 2019 sales up 16% on 2014.
However, 10 titles have seen sales fall by more than 100,000 copies per edition, with What’s on TV experiencing the most significant decline.
An additional 19 titles that were not indexed in 2014 were included in the 2019 data.
Of the titles that have seen sales increase, five were children’s titles, while the 10 titles facing the largest decline in sales were either TV listings or women’s weeklies.
In response to the results, Jeremy Leslie, of MagCulture in Clerkenwell, London, said retailers need to look at specialist titles if they are to make the magazine category work for them. “We are specialising in quite a unique range of publications and we are seeing quite the opposite of a decline,” he said.
“The UK edition of Marie Claire recently announced it was ceasing its print edition in the same week that a women’s title we stock, The Gentlewoman, celebrated its 10th anniversary with its biggest issue yet.
“While those two magazines aren’t comparable in terms of their scale, one is failing and the other is succeeding.”
Specialist magazine retailer Daniel McCabe, of Magalleria, added: “We are well placed to sell magazines because we have built up expertise and are able to cater to requests.
“I think independents should aspire to be somewhere between what we do, which is entirely focused on specialist titles, and the traditional mainstream range you see in many stores around the UK.”
Both agreed that, while not all newsagents can become specialists in magazines, the traditional magazine offering available in many newsagents is now less successful.
Leslie explained: “You can’t rely on the same magazine formula any more, and it is specialists that are seeing success.”
McCabe agreed. “The traditional mainstream magazine sale model looks to be struggling and mass market titles are just less able to fine-tune their message and appeal to and retain their readers,” he said.
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