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ABC Results: publisher reaction

The ABC yesterday released the consumer magazine circulation results for the period ending December 2021 and some publishers have responded with their interpretation of the figures.

ABC Results: publisher reaction
Grazia is celebrating an increase of 6.5% POP and 7.5% YOY.

Below are statements about their ABC results from: Autovia, Bauer Media, The Chelsea Magazine Company, Immediate Media Co and London Review of Books.


  • Autovia titles show growth in latest ABC figures
  • Auto Express maintains its market dominance
  • evo and Octane go up a gear

Auto Express has maintained its dominance of the weekly automotive magazine segment according to the latest figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). During 2021 Auto Express outsold its nearest competitor by 25%.

The importance of Auto Express is further highlighted by growth of almost 2% across the brands’ digital and print subscriptions delivering a strong and loyal readership. Auto Express is a trusted authority with exceptional editorial expertise and prides itself in putting the motorist at the heart of its content, making sure they leave feeling informed and entertained.

Specialist automotive magazine evo, one of the UK’s leading premium and performance car titles, saw growth up almost 9% with 98% of magazines being actively purchased, demonstrating the importance of its loyal audience. The evo brand continues to attract a dedicated and enthusiastic following via its magazine, website, social media channels and live events, offering its audience a true 360 degree performance car experience.

Octane achieved a year-on-year growth of almost 9% and is one of the most actively purchased titles in its category. The magazine retains its position as one of the UK’s favourite premium classic car brands and delivers the highest standards of editorial and photographic content from the most-respected names in the classic car industry.

Nicola Bates, CEO of the media brands at Autovia, said: “Our Autovia portfolio delivers the UK’s largest automotive media audience across digital, social, video and print to help millions of people enjoy, research and purchase cars. I’m delighted to see growth in our ABC circulation figures, but importantly that we have maintained our market-leading position in delivering a quality, actively-purchased audience.”

Autovia 2021 ABCs:

Auto Express - 34,929

evo - 33,530

Octane - 32,289

Bauer Media

  • Bauer Media is the UK’s biggest-selling magazine publisher once again, circulating 120m copies in the last 12 months and with 16 market-leading positions
  • 1 in 3 magazines sold in the UK during 2021 were published by Bauer Media UK
  • 21 (58%) of Bauer Media UK’s titles show YOY growth
  • Subscriptions continue to soar with digital subscriptions up 64.6%
  • CAR overtakes Top Gear for the first time to become the biggest title in the Automotive market
  • Grazia records POP and YOY increases with digital copies up 71.6% YOY
  • MOJO turns up the volume with 22.9% ABC increase over the past year
  • Gardening titles maintain popularity as Modern Gardens and Garden Answers record 44.0% and 16.7% YOY increases respectively
  • Country Walking records huge 29.7% YOY increase
  • TV Choice continues to sell over one million copies each week

Commenting on the July-December 2021 results, Chris Duncan, Bauer Media UK’s CEO of UK Publishing, said: “We’re delighted with such a strong set of results and the performance of subscriptions and digital editions across Bauer titles. We continue to be the number one choice for audiences in many different categories in both monthly and weekly, mass market and specialist.

“Thanks to all of the teams who have worked so hard to make this possible, and to all of the retailers and advertisers who support us. We are proud to lead the sector, not least in our proven commitment to transparency around our circulation performance.”

Highlights this period:

TV Listings

TV Choice 1,016,951; Total TV Guide 78,502

  • Trusted TV listings bible TV Choice (weekly) remains the UK’s No 1 selling title, selling over one million copies each week.
  • Total TV Guide (weekly) records an ABC of 78,502 average copies circulated each week. Subscriptions are up 11.4% YOY to 14,143.

Real Life

Take a Break 325,850; Take a Break Monthly 160,987; that’s life! 138,277

  • Take a Break (weekly) remains the UK’s best-selling women’s weekly magazine, with 325,850 copies circulated each week.
  • Take a Break Monthly records an ABC of 160,987 average copies circulated each month, with UK paid single copies up 1.3% POP. Subscriptions are up 59.6% YOY to 8,300.
  • that’s life! (weekly) remains second in the Real Life market, with 138,277 copies circulated each week.

Women’s Weekly Classics

Bella 131,314

  • Bella (weekly) remains the stalwart leader in the Women’s Weekly Classics market with growth of 2.8% POP.
  • Bella saw double digit digital growth with subscriptions up 20.2% POP and 25.6% YOY.

Celebrity Weeklies

Closer 101,322; heat 71,863

  • Closer (weekly) retains its position as number two in the celebrity market recording 4.0% POP growth and a digital growth of 38.5% POP.
  • Closer saw a total subscription increase of 39.9% YOY - a strong result driven by its outstanding digital subscriptions performance which delivered 59.6% growth YOY.
  • heat (weekly) saw growth of 2.6% POP and enjoyed a stellar performance with impressive digital growth of 38.3% POP and 97.6% YOY.


Grazia 92,061

  • Grazia is celebrating a circulation growth with an ABC figure of 92,061, an increase of 6.5% POP and 7.5% YOY. Grazia also built on its digital growth showing an increase of 71.6% YOY.
  • Grazia continues to demonstrate influence and build on its position as a brand that campaigns for causes relevant to its readers. An amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill against ‘Rough Sex’ defence became law following a petition started by Grazia in conjunction with campaign group We Can’t Consent to This, which was signed by 68,000 Grazia readers.


Yours 161,841

  • Yours continues to be the UK’s best-selling fortnightly lifestyle magazine for women over 50, with an average circulation of 161,841 copies per issue.
  • Readers continue to show loyalty and embrace digital subscriptions which have grown by 7.1% YOY.

Music & Film

Empire (monthly), 74,947

  • Empire is the biggest circulating film magazine with a total ABC of 74,947, continuing to lead the market both in the UK and overseas circulation.
  • Empire has seen digital growth up 28.1% YOY.
  • Empire has significantly grown its circulation, up 21.8% YOY

MOJO (monthly) 67,435

  • MOJO continues to lead the market, both in the UK and overseas with a total ABC of 67,435, up 22.9% YOY.
  • MOJO continues to experience digital growth, up 45.8% YOY and recently published Bauer’s first audio story on Apple News+.
  • MOJO has experienced growth of 24.0% YOY in overseas circulation


  • Today’s Golfer (monthly): ABC increase up 16.8% YOY with 43,099 average copies circulated. Total subscriptions increased to 31,821.
  • Improve Your Coarse Fishing (monthly) has an ABC increase up 8.3% YOY with 19,353 combined ABC. Total subscriptions increased to 10,851.
  • Angling Times (weekly) continued to deliver the favourite fishing stories every week resulting in an ABC increase is of 6.6% YOY with 19,726 combined ABC. Total subscriptions increased to 6,339.
  • Trout and Salmon (monthly) continues to be the voice of Game-Fishing and has been for over 60 years.


Modern Gardens (monthly) - 36,563: up 44.0% YOY

  • ABC increase up 44.0% YOY with 36,563 average copies circulated. Total subscriptions increased to 21,511 up 137.3% YOY.

Garden Answers (monthly) - 68,020: up 16.7% YOY

  • ABC increase up 16.7% YOY with 68,020. Total subscriptions increased to 58,091, up 33.1% YOY/5.3% POP.

Landscape 43,591: up 16.9% YOY

  • ABC increase up 16.9% YOY with 43,591 average copies circulated. Total subscriptions increased to 29,925, up 26.8% YOY.

Garden News (weekly) ABC 34,883

  • Garden News is Britain's most trusted voice in gardening with practical and informative advice features from experts, including Carol Klein.

Outdoor and Hobbies

Country Walking (monthly) 49,250: up 29.7% YOY

  • Country Walking celebrates its largest ABC growth along with another highly successful #walk1000miles, a campaign that continues to motivate more people than ever before to change their lives one step at a time. ABC increase up 29.7% YOY with 49,250 combined ABC. Total subscriptions increased to 43,511, up 34.3% YOY.

Trail (monthly) 21,161: up 18.0% YOY

  • As well as being Britain's biggest and best-selling hillwalking magazine, Trail is building the brand digitally by transforming its website into the most trusted source of gear reviews for outdoor enthusiasts. ABC increase up 18.0% YOY with 21,161 combined ABC. Total subscriptions increased to 15, 787 up 27.0% YOY.

Bird Watching (monthly) 20,727: up 22.4% YOY

  • ABC increase up 22.4% YOY with 20,726 combined ABC. Total subscriptions increased to 17,403 up 26.6% YOY.

Steam Railway (print, monthly) 30,045: up 0.48% YOY

  • Total ABC 31,426, up 0.6% YOY.

Model Rail (monthly) ABC 20,945

  • Model Rail has seen success with total subscriptions increasing to 12,857 and continues to be packed full of the latest new model reviews, expert 'how to' projects and inspirational layouts.


MCN 44,377; Bike 35,029; RiDE 26,315; Classic Bike 27,680; Practical Sportsbikes 18,648

  • MCN (weekly) remains the market leader delivering a total circulation of 44,377. As well as increasing its number of subscriptions (8.2% YOY), MCN has seen significant digital growth of 36.0% YOY. The MCN brand enjoys huge reach among UK motorcyclists together with the website and a nationwide portfolio of events.
  • With increases in overseas circulation (22.7%), subscriptions (17.9%) and digital circulation (43.8%), the monthly Bike magazine cements its position as the UK’s biggest monthly motorcycling magazine, delivering a total circulation of 35,029, an increase of 12.3% YOY.
  • RiDE (monthly) remains the biggest-selling monthly modern motorcycle magazine at UK newsstand, with a total circulation of 26,315, an increase of 6.0% YOY.
  • The UK’s number one classic motorcycling magazine, Classic Bike (monthly) has delivered a 5.6% increase YOY, bringing its total circulation to 27,680. Classic Bike has achieved UK newsstand growth of 4.3%, overseas growth of 16.2% and subscriptions growth of 3.4% YOY.
  • Practical Sportsbikes delivers an impressive 19.3% YOY increase to retain the number two position in the monthly classic motorcycling market with a total circulation of 18,648. Overseas circulation has grown by 52.1% YOY and Practical Sportsbikes releases its first digital circulation figure of 3,178 copies.


CAR 62,427; Classic Car Weekly 20,171; Classic Cars 33,213; Practical Classics 35,107; LRO 19,874

  • Iconic CAR magazine continues to go from strength to strength with great motoring journalism to deliver an impressive 20.3% YOY increase, with a total circulation of 62,427 copies, overtaking its closest rival to become the biggest circulating motoring magazine. During 2021, CAR has grown its digital circulation by 50.4% YOY, with 28.8% YOY growth in overseas circulation and 25.4% YOY in subscriptions.
  • Classic Car Weekly sold over 1 million copies during 2021, with a total average circulation of 20,171, seeing YOY growth in both subscriptions (14.3%) and digital circulation (30.0%).
  • Increasing its total circulation by 21.8% to 33,213, Classic Cars (monthly) has seen UK newsstand growth of 6.3% YOY, overseas growth of 22.8% YOY, digital growth of 35.9% YOY and the number of subscriptions has increased by 31.5% YOY.
  • Practical Classics (13 issues per year) delivers a 7.6% increase YOY to 35,107 copies to retain its number two position within the Classic Motoring market. Practical Classics has also seen growth in overseas circulation (12.0% YOY), subscriptions (13.7% YOY) and digital circulation (10.9%).
  • Land Rover Owner International (LRO) (13 issues per year) reports a circulation of 19,874. LRO has seen overseas circulation growth of 16.3% YOY and 34.7% increase in digital circulation YOY.

RAIL (fortnightly), 17,087

  • RAIL is the voice of the rail industry – and is held in such high esteem, it is the only title in the industry the Department of Transport subscribes to. The market-leading modern railway magazine brings its audience independent and in-depth news and analysis, as well as unrivalled opinion and insight. The brand also has an outstanding event portfolio, running some of the most well-respected events in the industry.

The Chelsea Magazine Company

The English Home & The English Garden celebrate fantastic ABC results

The English Home and The English Garden have both increased their circulation, as revealed in the ABC Consumer Magazines Report. Beautiful, exclusive content and high production values have ensured both magazines continue to show year-on-year growth.

The English Garden posted an average circulation of 56,147, a rise of 10% year-on-year. During 2021, The English Garden enjoyed increased sales at newsstands in the UK and all over the world, and a swell in subscriber volumes for both print and digital editions. The English Garden has the biggest circulation of any luxury gardening magazine, with the UK edition growing its circulation by 5%. In North America, where the title remains the biggest-selling UK gardening magazine, its average circulation increased by 15%.

The English Garden celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022, with exciting new events and features planned. “This is a really special time to be at the helm of The English Garden and we can’t wait to share even more beautiful gardens with our loyal readers and subscribers,” says editor Clare Foggett.

The English Home posted an increased average circulation of 77,350, showing 4% year-on-year growth and demonstrating the title’s significant UK and international reach. This is the seventh consecutive year that The English Home has increased its circulation. Subscriber volumes grew in the UK and all over the world during 2021 and the title’s circulation grew by 7% in North America.

The English Home represents the very best of classic British style and design; readers of The English Home value quality, authenticity and provenance when it comes to decorating their homes. “We are delighted that the classic English style of decorating has such resonance with readers all over the world,” says Editor-in-Chief, Samantha Scott-Jeffries, who is also the host of The English Home podcast, which launched in 2021.

Immediate Media Co

Enduring relevance of magazines confirmed as Immediate posts third consecutive year of circulation growth

  • Immediate records 5% combined circulation growth illustrating continued demand for special interest content.
  • Annual print increase of 4% maintaining growth seen during the pandemic.
  • Total circulation further accelerated by 14% growth in digital editions as demand increases across multiple platforms.
  • Immediate brands maintain loyal consumer base with 1.2m subscribers.
  • Immediate brands increase consumer loyalty with 9.3% growth in subscribers

Immediate Media Co, the special interest content and platform company, has recorded its third consecutive year-on-year circulation growth for its market-leading titles, confirming the continued resurgence of demand for special interest magazine brands.

Immediate posted a combined print and digital circulation of 2,508,680 July to December 2021, up 5% year-on-year, it also continues to be the UK’s leading publisher for subscriptions with 1.2m subscribers*, up 9.3% year-on-year.

Immediate’s results underline strong consumer demand for content that helps people get the most from doing the things they love.

Across the key verticals in which it operates, Immediate consolidated its market-leading positions, including:

  • Youth and Children’s: up 8.75% year-on-year
  • Gardening: BBC Gardeners’ World combined circulation up by 14%
  • Food brands including BBC Good Food: flat year-on-year circulation of 299,548 defying post lockdown trends
  • History: BBC History Magazine up 3.1% year-on-year.

Tom Bureau, Immediate Executive Chairman, says: “These are a fantastic set of results. That we’ve continued to grow our reach in print as restrictions have been eased illustrates the enduring popularity of our trusted market-leading brands. And it demonstrates the success of our strategic focus on quality content, helping our audiences get more from the things the love, whether that be gardening, cooking or bringing to life the latest big TV hit. The strong performance across our print portfolio, both on the newsstand and on subscriptions, combined with double-digit growth in our digital business and the return of our live events last year, has helped us celebrate our 10thanniversary in style, with our best-ever financial results.”

Detailed Highlights:

  • Immediate’s combined print and digital circulation of 2,508,680, up 4.6% year-on-year.
  • Print circulation was 2,345,101, up 4% year-on-year.
  • Digital circulation was 163,579, up 13.5% year-on-year, and 110% period-on-period.
  • Immediate is the number one publisher in the UK for subscriptions with 1.2m subscribers, up 9.3% year-on-year.

BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Another very strong year as the nation’s passion for gardening continues. BBC Gardeners’ World magazine posted a combined circulation of 258,126, up 14% year-on-year. In the last year subscriptions to BBC Gardeners’ World magazine have increased by 24.6%.

Catriona Bolger, BBC Gardeners’ World Managing Director, says: “Already a market leader, BBC Gardeners’ World goes from strength-to-strength, growing 14% year-on-year to reach a circulation of over 258,126 copies. Our editor, Lucy Hall, was recognised by the BSME’s earlier this month, describing her as ‘an editor for our times’ and the results she and her team have achieved are testament to that. The UK is becoming ever-more a nation of gardening fans and BBC Gardeners’ World is there for everyone who shares that passion.”

Radio Times

The UK’s best-selling quality magazine, posted a combined circulation of 480,938, up 4.3% period on period. Radio Times continues to be the best-selling weekly UK magazine brand by subscription, with 272,988 subscribers, up 3.3% year-on-year.

Zoe Helme, Radio Times Publishing Director, comments: “Radio Times has achieved another set of outstanding results. As the brand approaches its 100th birthday next year, it proves it’s as relevant today as it has ever been. Every week Radio Times offers its audiences exclusive interviews and photoshoots, access to the biggest stars in the business, and invaluable guidance as to the best of entertainment, across TV, streaming, film and radio.”

Immediate retains its position as the leading food media publisher in the UK

  • BBC Good Food posted a combined circulation of 200,687, up 3.2% period on period, 0.3% year-on-year. BBC Good Food magazine subscriptions increased by 9.7% year-on-year to 143,592.
  • BBC Good Food Home Cooking series rose by 27.6% period-on-period, and 14.6% year-on-year, with a combined circulation of 27,414.
  • olive magazine’s circulation rose to 42,175 up 3.9% year-on-year.
  • Easy Cook’s combined circulation was 29,272, up 16.6% period-on-period and 10.3% year-on-year.

Alex White, BBC Good Food Managing Director, says: “BBC Good Food is the UK’s number one food media brand and continues its outstanding growth year on year. A combination of brilliant editorial focus and commercial incisiveness makes BBC Good Food a must-read for everyone who loves preparing, cooking and eating food. olive magazine’s successful year on year growth is testament to the passion it shares for effortlessly stylish food and drink, whether eating in or out, at home or abroad.”

Youth and Children’s

Immediate’s market-leading Youth and Children’s portfolio continue its strong growth, with a combined circulation 944,635, up 8.75% year-on-year.

Stand-out performances include:

  • Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine, circulation of 43,742, up 27% year-on-year
  • Pokémon with a circulation of 52,912 up 21.8% year-on-year
  • Disney Stars with a circulation of 26,247 and year-on-year growth of 18.5%
  • LEGO Superhero Legends with a circulation of 43,427 and year-on-year growth of 25.6%
  • MEGA with a circulation of 32,027 up 8.2% year-on-year.

Pauline Cooke, Managing Director, Youth and Children’s said: “Our growth across the portfolio shows we are giving our audience exactly what they want. We have some of the biggest brands in the market and continue to deliver engaging content, education, activities and most of all fun.“


BBC History Magazine posted an increase of 3.1% year-on-year and a combined circulation of 92,687.

Jemima Dixon, Commercial Director, IM History Group, said: “BBC History Magazine’s growth over the past year demonstrates people’s passion for the past is as strong as ever, and new readers are also attracted to our insightful editorial and in-depth features that shine a light on UK and world history.”


Immediate’s Bristol based specialist business has posted a strong set of results.

  • Gardens Illustrated combined circulation is up an impressive 16.7% year-on-year with a combined circulation of 49,146.
  • BBC Science Focus and BBC Sky at Night have also reported healthy increases each securing 11% year-on-year growth. BBC Science Focus posted a combined circulation of 50,142 and BBC Sky at Night 23,082.
  • Mountain Biking UK’s circulation continues to rise, boosted by the growing interest in cycling over the last 18 months, reporting an increase of 8.7% with a combined circulation of 23,322.
  • Includes print and digital editions of Immediate Media Co brands, and BBC Top Gear Magazine, published under licence for BBC Studios, plus titles not audited in this period.

London Review of Books

London Review of Books circulation increases by 3.9% as Reneé Doegar is appointed publisher

  • Print circulation of publication rises to 91,859 in 2021 following key appointments
  • 93% are paid subscriptions

New data released today (17th February) by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) has revealed that the London Review of Books has maintained its trend of sustained growth, with total circulation rising to 91,859 in 2021, up from 88,421 in 2020, after a series of key appointments at the publication.

The LRB continues to significantly outperform its competitors, including Prospect (18.4k) and The New Statesman, which independently reported an average circulation of over 41,000. The vast majority (93%) of sales were through paid subscriptions in 2021. Full rate subscriptions rose by 3.6% compared to 2020. The paper has achieved year-on-year growth for more than twenty years.

Last year, the LRB delivered agenda-setting essays on the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, declining trust in political leaders, eco-terrorism and COP26, and rising tensions in Ukraine, by contributors including John Lanchester, Adam Tooze, Jenny Turner and James Meek. It published unmissable reviews by the authors of two of 2021’s most talked-about books, Patricia Lockwood and Amia Srinivasan – both of them contributing editors to the LRB – and much-discussed interventions such as Emily Wilson making sense of Aristophanes via Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’, Andrew O’Hagan’s assessment of the literary efforts of members of the Royal Family, and Alan Bennett’s Covid diary.

In October 2021, commercial director Reneé Doegar was promoted to publisher, with Nicholas Spice retiring after 39 years. Doegar started at the LRB as a marketing manager in 2011, before being appointed head of marketing in 2015. In 2019 she became the paper’s first commercial director, supporting the year-on-year growth of its subscriptions against a backdrop of declining print sales in the industry in recent years. Doegar also launched the brand’s first online retail shop and developed an international book-selling site for the London Review Bookshop, alongside a successful Book Box subscription service.

During her 11 years at the magazine, Doegar’s efforts helped increase its circulation by 55%, from 56,000 subscribers when she joined to 88,421 in 2020, increasing again to 91,859 in 2021.

Reneé Doegar, publisher of the LRB, said: “In my time here I have watched the London Review of Books go from strength to strength, and I am really proud – and rather humbled – to have taken on such an important role for the organisation. It’s fantastic to see our subscriptions on the rise for another consecutive year of sustained growth, particularly during the challenges we have faced during the pandemic. Nicky and Mary-Kay shaped the LRB from the early days of the paper, and built an important and stalwart brand. The LRB started with just four people and now has a staff of over 60 amazingly talented individuals working not just for the paper, but supporting it through the business, the bookshop, the cake shop, published books, bespoke product lines, and our renowned author event series. Together with Alice and Jean as co-editors, I am excited about the future of the LRB and hope to continue to grow our brand worldwide to expand our loyal readership.

Mary-Kay Wilmers was succeeded as editor by Jean McNicol and Alice Spawls in 2021. Wilmers remains a consulting editor, while Spice – who worked alongside Wilmers for almost 40 years, overseeing the LRB’s remarkable growth – will continue as a consulting publisher.

Jean McNicol and Alice Spawls, co-editors of the LRB, said: “Last year was one of major change and essential continuity. We look forward to building on Mary-Kay and Nicky’s legacy alongside Reneé; the business couldn’t be in safer hands. And we’re delighted that the paper continues to find new readers.”

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