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ABC Results: publisher reaction

The ABC yesterday released the consumer magazine circulation results for the January – June 2018 period and publishers have responded with their interpretation of the figures.

ABC Results: publisher reaction

Below are statements about their ABC results from: Bauer Media, Condé Nast, Dennis Publishing, The Economist, Egmont, Hearst UK, Hello!, Immediate Media Co, Redan Publishing, Shortlist Media and TI Media.

Bauer Media

Commenting on the results, Rob Munro-Hall, Group Managing Director, Bauer Magazine Media UK said: “As the UK’s biggest publisher, we are proud to be No 1 across key markets with much loved brands; TV Choice leads in TV Listings, Take a Break in True-Life, Bella in Women’s Weekly Classics and Garden Answers showing phenomenal growth. Our breadth of magazines offers a trusted environment and meaningful connections, inspiration and influence across an extremely diverse range of interests and passions. Print magazines remain one of the strongest opportunities for commercial partners to engage with passionate, knowledgeable audiences. We are very pleased that our continued investment in making the best magazines possible is being repaid by consumer loyalty and buying habits.”

Highlights this period:

TV Listings

* TV Choice (weekly) remains the UK’s biggest magazine – selling over 1.1 million copies a week. It has further increased its lead by out-performing the market both POP and YOY, increased market share and now sells over 336,000 more copies than its nearest rival.

* Total TV Guide (weekly) now sells 91,000 copies, and increased market share both POP and YOY.


* Take a Break (weekly) leads with the No 1 position in the true-life market, selling over 472,000 copies.

* Take a Break Monthly (monthly) sells 180,000 copies and that’s life! (weekly) sells 192,000 copies, both contributing towards Bauer’s significant leadership and dominance in the True-Life market.

Women’s Weekly Classics

* Bella (weekly) becomes the No 1 leader in the Women’s Weeklies Classics market, delivering both POP (+1.3%) and YOY (+2.8%) growth with over 166,000 copies sold.

Celebrity Weeklies

* Closer (weekly) holds strong in its No 2 position within the celebrity weekly market and at over 177,000 copies.

* Grazia (weekly) out performs the market and circulated over 102,000 copies and has increased market share both POP and YOY.

* heat increased its share both POP and YOY, with 119,00 copies circulated as it celebrates its 1000th issue with a bumper edition.


* Grazia (weekly) outperformed the Glossies market both POP and YOY; it also increased market share both POP and YOY.


* Garden Answers (monthly) posts phenomenal double-digit growth at 41,000 copies up (+20%) POP and (+24%) YOY.

* Garden News (weekly) grows POP (+5.3%).


* Yours (fortnightly) circulated 242,000 copies and has increased market share both POP and YOY, out-performing the market.


* Practical Photography (monthly) remains the UK’s biggest selling photography magazine, with 38,000 copies sold – nearly 10,000 more than its nearest rival.

Condé Nast

Condé Nast today releases its latest set of ABC figures combining total print and digital circulation for the period January to June 2018, with consistent performance over the majority of the portfolio.

“I’m pleased with the overall performance we delivered this ABC period. Like-for-like Condé Nast Britain is selling more magazines year on year despite a challenging newsstand environment”, says Condé Nast Britain MD Albert Read.

VOGUE – British Vogue posts an increased ABC of 192,112. Total print and digital circulation are up 1.1% period on period and year on year.

HOUSE & GARDEN–House & Garden posts an increased ABC of 112,053. Total print and digital circulation are consistent period on period and up 1% year on year.

GQ – British GQ posts an ABC of 110,051. Total print and digital circulation are down 4.3% period on period and down 3.5% year on year. Whilst the newsstands remain particularly difficult for the men’s market, GQ’s loyal UK subscribers are increasing 15.5% year on year.

Entering its 30th anniversary this year, British GQ remains the market leader in men’s magazines with strong performance relative to our peer group.

TATLER – Tatler posts an increased ABC of 78,090. Total print and digital circulation are consistent period on period. The first issue under new Editor-in-Chief Richard Dennen was the July issue, included in this period.

CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER –Condé Nast Traveller posts an increased ABC of 80,043. Total print and digital circulation are up 2.4% period on period and 2.5% year on year.

THE WORLD OF INTERIORS–The World of Interiors posts an increased ABC of 55,098. Total print and digital circulation are consistent period on period and up 0.1% year on year.

VANITY FAIR – Vanity Fair posts an increased ABC of 72,044. Total print and digital circulation are consistent period on period and year on year. The first four issues under new Editor-in-Chief Radhika Jones are included in this period.

Dennis Publishing

The Week Junior, Dennis’ current affairs magazine aimed at curious and smart 8-14 year olds, continues to go from strength to strength with a marketing leading ABC increase . This new headline figure of 59,266 contains 51,937 subscribers. The magazine also saw a period-on-period increase of 13,006 paid newsstand and subscriber copies - up 30.75%.

Since its November 2015 launch the title has grown every audit period, and it is now one of the largest children’s magazines in the UK. Anna Bassi, Editor-in-Chief of The Week Junior, said, “This fantastic result shows a real appetite for high quality, factual and informative content for young people. It is a great testament to the hard work, commitment and talent of the team that produce it and we are absolutely delighted.”

The Week - ABC 177,158

The Week’s headline number fell overall but this was overwhelmingly the result of a drop in bulk copies which were reduced by 50%. This decision reflects a switch in emphasis from physical sampling to digital marketing channels. Paid circulation held steady at 177,158, showing the ongoing loyalty of readers and consistent marketing investment.

The Week Digital Publications also saw an increase period-on-period of 1.7%, rising to 39,442 per issue.

Money Week - ABC 43,933

The latest edition to The Week’s portfolio, Money Week, also reported a steady ABC figure, with a weekly average ABC of 43,933.

Kerin O’Connor, CEO of The Week, said: “Once again The Week’s stable of magazines have demonstrated the enduring importance of great customer relationships and superb editorial quality. We are particularly proud of the innovative The Week Junior, which has become one of the most successful magazine launches of recent years. I look forward to the launch of its sister monthly title, The Week Junior Science + Nature in early September. The Week and Money Week have continued to deliver stable paid circulations.”

The Economist

With today’s release of the ABC January to June 2018 certificates, The Economist’s UK circulation (excluding Ireland which is counted under the European certificate) has increased 7.7% to 267,264, up from 248,196 the previous year. This increase is driven by a growth in both digital and print circulation, up 10.8% and 6% respectively year on year.

Global circulation has increased 1.4% to 1,410,667 (up from 1,391,671 in the previous six month period), digital circulation has seen double digit growth (+15% YoY) and a 97% actively purchased rate globally. Revenues from circulation were up 14% year on year contributing significantly to The Economist Group’s record breaking revenues in 2018.

UK highlights include:

* UK edition circulation (ex-Ireland) grew 7.7% yoy (5.2% over previous six months) to 267,264

* Digital circulation is up 10.8% yoy (7.2% over previous six month period)

* Print circulation is up 6% yoy (4.1% over previous six month period)

* Actively purchased rate for print in UK remains stable at 94%

* Global social audiences grew to 58,529,991, an increase of 12.5% yoy

“As we celebrate our 175th year of publishing The Economist, we believe that profitable circulation growth is the way to best position us for continued success in the future,” said Marina Haydn, Managing Director of Circulation and EVP. “By prioritising our readers within our business, we have built a large and engaged global audience that is also attractive to global marketers.”

Further underlining its commitment to readers, The Economist recently unveiled a new app that provides an enhanced digital experience for subscribers. The new app, called simply “The Economist”, has been designed to improve the digital reading experience with the aim of building long-term value for subscribers. In addition to providing a native mobile experience, the new Economist app is designed to help subscribers navigate and discover the breadth of Economist journalism more easily.

Egmont Publishing

Egmont Publishing, the UK’s biggest children’s specialist publisher, continues to grow its market-leading magazines and attract new readers every month.

Disney Princess, a top 10 title at retail since its launch 20 years ago, has proved its evergreen status once more by showing incredible yoy growth of 27.5% and pop growth of 18.4%.

Egmont continues to lead the way in Own Brand publishing, with Go Girl delivering impressive yoy and pop growth of 24.9% and 11.1% respectively. Toxic remains the first choice magazine for pre-teen boys, showing that Egmont’s focus on quality content, exclusive brand partnerships and value-for-money packages is still meeting the needs of its consumers.

Paw Patrol continues to be a phenomenal success. The latest ABC results show pop and yoy growth of 9.3% and 6.8% respectively. Now in its third year of publishing, and still delivering growth, Paw Patrol is set to become an evergreen title of the future.

Thomas & Friends continues to delight young fans three decades since its launch, delivering pop growth of 3%. The release of the latest Thomas & Friends movie, ‘Big World, Big Adventures’, is sure to attract even more young fans to the magazine this summer.

Of the ABC results, Siobhan Galvin, Commercial Director of Magazines at Egmont said, “We are delighted with the performance across our portfolio. The success of our market-leading magazines is a result of our collaborative, creative and innovative relationship with our partners. Our leading Own Brand titles – Toxic and Go Girl – demonstrate our publishing expertise and ability to adapt to changing consumer trends. We know from our research that parents value the physicality and the overall package printed magazines provide – they appreciate how they offer time away from screens and enable them to spend time doing activities and reading together with their children. Magazines are an affordable ‘treat with benefits’.”

Jan to Jun 2018 figures, by title:

Disney Princess: 45,037

Frozen: 59,017

Go Girl: 40,014

Thomas & Friends: 35,042

Toxic: 35,091

Lego Star Wars: 49,016

Paw Patrol: 48,087

Hearst UK

Hearst UK, the leading premium publisher, has released its latest set of ABC figures for the period Jan-Jun 2018. The results show that Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Men’s Health and Women’s Health have retained market leadership position in each of Hearst’s monthly magazine competitive sectors.

Hearst has recorded a robust set of numbers with four brands in period-on-period (pop) and year-on-year (yoy) growth:

* Harper’s Bazaar is up 1% pop and 5% yoy with a combined ABC of 117,414. The brand continues to go from strength to strength and has recently launched the Bazaar Literary Salon – a new event where Bazaar readers are able to meet highly acclaimed female authors, publishers and agents

* Red is up 3% pop and 3% yoy. The brand is celebrating its 20th anniversary and Hearst’s strategic decision to realign Red under its Lifestyle Group has delivered a strong combined ABC of 171,440

* Women’s Health is up 1% pop and 1% yoy with a combined ABC of 133,452 – its 12th consecutive pop increase since launch. The magazine was named Consumer Magazine of the Year at the 2018 PPA Awards

* ELLE Decoration is up 6% pop and 4% yoy with a combined ABC of 74,903. ELLE Decoration has recently secured its first-ever licensing deal with Bathstore to enable readers to get the magazine’s trademark contemporary aesthetic in their own homes

Cosmopolitan continues to be the highest circulating monthly young women’s glossy. Its combined ABC shows a -14% pop decrease, predominantly due to a price increase from £1 to £2. Cosmopolitan continues to push boundaries with its campaign to offer young women the opportunity to live in London who would otherwise face being priced out due to high rental prices, and Cosmopolitan’s Editor-in-Chief, Farrah Storr was recently named Editor of the Year at the 2018 PPA Awards.

James Wildman, CEO of Hearst UK, says: “Our trusted print brands have an enduring ability to reach and engage their loyal readers in a truly unique way. We continue to invest in, and evolve, our premium print products and I’m encouraged to see that we once again have market leaders in each of our monthly competitive sectors. To also record four period-on-period and year-on-year increases is a great achievement.

“It's an incredibly exciting time for Hearst UK as we innovate across print, digital and our events. We have an audience reach of almost 14.5m, and over the last six months we’ve launched brand new consumer experiences, won exciting content marketing businesses, leveraged the power of our brands through licensed products, continued to grow our digital audiences and revenues, and have been awarded 26 industry accolades.”

Full ABC results for Hearst UK are listed below.

Monthly Brands

Cosmopolitan: Total combined ABC of 302,514, -14% pop, -25% yoy

Country Living: Total combined ABC of 184,156, -3% pop, -2% yoy

ELLE: Total combined ABC of 151,763, -10% pop, -12% yoy

ELLE Decoration: Total combined ABC of 74,903, +6% pop, +4% yoy

Esquire: Total combined ABC of 60,456 -4% pop, -3% yoy

Good Housekeeping: Total combined ABC of 428,771, -6% pop, -2% yoy

Harper’s Bazaar: Total combined ABC of 117,414, +1% pop, +5% yoy

House Beautiful: Total combined ABC of 98,419, -9% pop, -11% yoy

Men’s Health: Total combined ABC of 146,047, -17% pop, -16% yoy

Prima: Total combined ABC of 226,129, -5% pop, -6% yoy

Red: Total combined ABC of 171,440, +3% pop, +3% yoy

Women’s Health: Total combined ABC of 133,452, +1% pop, +1% yoy

Weekly Brands

Best: Total combined ABC of 117,480, -7% pop, -10% yoy

Inside Soap: Total combined ABC of 91,671, -5% pop, -7% yoy

Real People: Total combined ABC of 115,196, -5% pop, -8% yoy

Reveal: Total combined ABC of 82,247, -13% pop, -18% yoy


HELLO! magazine announces a UK & Eire actively purchased figure of 187,191 in the circulation data released today for the ABC January-June 2018 period, outperforming every title in the sector both period on period and year on year.

Once again HELLO! has proved to be more resilient than its competitors with a significant period-on-period (PoP) increase of 5.06%, compared to the market, while year-on-year (YoY) HELLO! saw an increase of 6.45%, again an exceptionally strong performance and unique in the market.

The weekly market position overall was down (8.4%) PoP and down (10.8%) YoY. HELLO! has already seen two ABC periods of improvement across newsstand, subscriptions, and export (the latter two being important barometers of a titles health), so the latest outstanding performance reinforces the magazine’s position and demonstrates the stability and relevance of the 30-year-old brand, known for its high-quality content, glossy production, positive tone and trusted relationships with A-list personalities.

Key issues of HELLO! in the period included the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (which achieved an outstanding sale of more than 500k copies for the first souvenir issue), the birth of Prince Louis and the engagement of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank.

Despite increased promotional activity from key competitors, in particular “cut-pricing”, HELLO! took the bold decision to increase its cover price from £2 to £2.20 during this period – its first price rise in ten years. It demonstrated that HELLO! is committed to maintaining its strong position in the market by investing in content and the best talents in the industry.

HELLO!’s sister title HELLO! Fashion Monthly (HFM) has also shown a strong performance, selling 71,819 copies (UK & Eire actively purchased), which was up a fantastic 10.12% YoY.

HFM’s result, compares favourably with the Lifestyle & Fashion market that was down (18.9%) YoY, and proves that the four-year-old title has established itself as a serious fashion contender and that readers are buying into the brand. HFM’s PoP performance is down (7.1%), but this compares to the market performance which is down (11.4%), explained by a change in the publishing schedule this yr.

Rosie Nixon, editor in chief of HELLO! and HFM, says: “My vision for HELLO! as an unashamedly celebratory brand was never more fitting than in this spectacular period; I am delighted and proud to see our fantastic ABC result, bucking the overall downward trend of the market. HELLO! is the stand-out story of a challenging marketplace, securing its place as the magazine readers and celebrities trust. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our readers and commercial partners for their continued support and faith in HELLO!”

Kevin Petley, business director of HELLO! says: “Today’s figures have proven the enduring strength and supremacy of the HELLO! brand, which has seen a resurgence of its commercial position. Rosie and her talented, hard-working and well-connected team continue to bring us fantastic exclusives and accurate reporting from the world of royalty, celebrity and society, as well as lifestyle content that is on a par with elite glossy monthlies. Our success is further underpinned by our strong relationships and support from our retailers and the great work undertaken by our circulation team, in conjunction with our distributor, Marketforce. This strong ABC is a direct result of HELLO!’s brand heritage, values and our approach to the market, as well as continued investment in our content."

Immediate Media Co

Immediate Media Co, the special interest content and platform company, has posted a combined ABC audited print and digital circulation of 1,592,137 for titles reporting in the period January-June 2018.

Standout performances include a second consecutive year of growth for BBC Gardeners’ World magazine, including its May issue which is the only single-issue monthly magazine to generate over £1m in Retail Sales Value in the last three years; and Immediate’s Pre-school portfolio has reported an 8.3% growth year-on-year.

Immediate has also recorded a 1.5% growth in RSV year-on-year to £122m and continues to be the UK’s leading magazine publisher in terms of subscribers, with 1.1m active subscribers*.

Tom Bureau, CEO of Immediate Media, says: “This is another strong set of results from Immediate, which has seen our portfolio of brands continue to outperform the market. Radio Times and BBC Gardeners’ World magazine have the largest reach of any weekly and general interest monthly magazines in the UK and our market-leading Youth & Children portfolio continues to perform strongly demonstrating the enduring power of print.

We’re also continuing to invest in our digital and ecommerce propositions as our brands further grow their reach across all platforms, Immediate’s brands now reach 22million consumers a month.”

Highlights for the ABC period Jan-June 2018:

BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

* BBC Gardeners’ World magazine’s circulation is up 18.5% period-on-period and 0.1% annually, its second consecutive year of growth with a monthly combined ABC of 208,453.

* The title’s May issue, featuring its annual 2for1 Gardens to Visit card and guide, was highest-value single monthly UK consumer magazine of the last three years, and the only single monthly magazine issue to deliver more than £1m in RSV.

* BBC Gardeners’ World magazine has the highest monthly print readership amongst all general interest monthlies and the second highest reach across all platforms (PAMCo – June 2018).

Radio Times

* Radio Times remains the UK’s biggest-selling quality magazine, with a weekly print ABC of 577,087.

* Radio Times retains its position as the most valuable title on the UK newsstand.

* Radio Times is also the UK’s biggest weekly subscription title, with 271,237 subscribers, up 1.4% period on period.

* continues its rapid growth, with a record-breaking 13.8million unique users visiting the site in July.

* Radio Times has the highest monthly brand reach of all weekly magazines in the UK (PAMCo – June 2018).

Youth and Children

Immediate remains the number one publisher in the Children’s market, with a total ABC audited circulation of 780,194.

Immediate’s pre-school titles reported a growth of 8.3% on the year.

* CBeebies Special is up 12.2% year-on-year, reporting an ABC of 51,035

* Hey Duggee audited circulation rose by 9.4% year-on-year to 16,601

* Toybox reported a 13.6% increase year-on-year to 28,134

Other Immediate Youth & Children’s highlights include:

* Lego Special Series is up 4.5% year on year reporting an ABC of 60,295

* Girl Talk and Girl Talk Art have both recorded year-on-year growth, up 5.15% and 0.65% respectively, to 42,376 and 28,326

* Pokémon magazine is up 13% year-on-year with a circulation of 46,154

* Top of the Pops Magazine recorded a 7.5% increase year-on-year to 48,398

Redan Publishing

Redan Publishing is delighted to report that in the ever competitive pre-school sector Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Bag-O-Fun has seen an impressive year on year increase of 10.93%. A total average sale of 85,455 that makes it not only the number one best-selling magazine in the Pre-school sector, but in the whole of the children’s sector.

Sister title Fun To Learn Peppa Pig has also reported a year on year increase of 3.44%, retaining its second place position in the Pre-school charts with an ABC of 66,314.

Elsewhere in the pre-school specialist’s portfolio, FTL Friends and FTL Favourites magazines hold firm in the Pre-school top 10. With FTL Friends seeing a slight period on period increase to 48,277 and Favourites up slightly from this time last year to 35,674.

Sparkle World continues to be the best-selling multi-character magazine in the Primary Girls sector posting an ABC of 44,386.

Shortlist Media

Shortlist Media, the media platform for the metropolitan audience and publisher of pioneering brands ShortList and Stylist today announces its new ABC figures for the period January- June 2018 with both brands expanding their market share.

* ShortList reports further growth in market share in the men’s lifestyle sector with a 2.7% uplift to a staggering 61.4% in total, and from January- June 2018 has maintained its consistently strong circulation of 502,667, further cementing the publication as category leader.

* Stylist reports an unprecedented uplift from the second half of last year (the period July – December 2017), taking circulation up to 403,855 for the period January- June 2018, now representing a consistent 31.6% of the total women’s lifestyle sector.

The latest ABC figures show that ShortList magazine once again remains the leading publication in its sector capturing 61.4% of the men’s market in a powerful way, reaching out to professional, urban men week on week. Stylist’s market share of 31.6% also demonstrates the magazine’s brand strength in the upmarket women’s sector.

Georgina Holt, Group Publishing Director, Shortlist Media says: “I could use this statement to discuss how we outperform our ‘competition’, but that’s lazy and one-dimensional. I believe that magazine brands have never been more instrumental in harnessing critical cultural conversations and moving them to the mainstream. My social-media feed is full of brilliant magazine covers – one image alone can capture powerful shifts in society that I’m delighted to see happen. Print provides a tangible platform for brilliant creative work, emerging voices and dynamic brands that will shape society as we move forward – and forward momentum is everything. So, to all our friends in magazines, we want to say thank you for all the heart and soul you pour into those pages every month. Your work is meaningful, inspiring and impactful. At Shortlist Media, we believe in print with purpose – and who doesn’t want to be part of something purposeful?”

TI Media

TI Media today releases its ABC results for the Jan-Jun 2018 period, against a backdrop of new promotional strategies and brand investment by the company.

Home Interest and Lifestyle

Angie O’Farrell, group managing director, lifestyle and women’s weeklies, says: “We are delighted that woman&home is the number one monthly lifestyle magazine on the newsstand where its sales have grown 1.3% on the period. It is outperforming the market by a long way thanks to a brand refresh unveiled in the February issue. New editor Kath Brown has done a fantastic job.

“Our homes portfolio retains its market-leading position and Ideal Home has regained the number one position on the newsstand. Homes & Gardens has grown its combined print and digital ABC by 0.8% on the period with a new figure of 95,840, and Livingetc’s newsstand sales have risen by 1.2%. In the coming months, we’ll begin redeveloping our homes brands and we look forward to building on our successes.”

Women’s Weeklies and TV

Mark Winterton, managing director, women’s weeklies and TV, says: “This period, we have stripped out bigger pack sales from our weeklies portfolio. Bigger packs, while offering a discounted package that boosts sales, aren’t valued by those consumers who wish to buy only the individual magazine they care about. There are times when these packs alone are available and this limits choice.

“We’ve focused instead on improving the editorial strength of our magazines, with every weekly title in our portfolio benefiting from redevelopment. While these ABCs figures reflect our removal of bigger packs, we’re encouraged by initial positive signs in the underlying sales performance. We’re also pleased to see Woman’s Weekly retain the number one spot in the traditional women’s weeklies market.”

Meanwhile, TI Media’s portfolio continues to lead the TV weeklies market, and What’s on TV retains the number two position with a print ABC of 831,227.


Justine Southall, managing director, fashion and beauty, says: “In Marie Claire’s 30th year, we have focused on delivering a targeted Marie Claire audience which is more relevant and valuable to both us and our advertising partners. We have therefore scaled back on cover mounts and price cuts, following our recent reduction of bigger pack sales. These tactics are commonly used in the fashion market but don’t appeal to our core audience of discerning, influential women. We’re choosing instead to invest even further in the high-quality print and digital journalism for which we’re renowned.

“In autumn, we’ll be launching a new Marie Claire shopping portal, which represents a significant digital investment. It will deliver an exciting and user-friendly shopping experience, adding to our digital and social media offering enjoyed by millions of visitors each month. As we prepare to celebrate Marie Claire’s 30th birthday, it is investments like these that will build a sustainable future for the brand, along with our roster of events and our Fabled by Marie Claire beauty retail business.”

TI Media CEO Marcus Rich adds: “With the renewed focus on trusted environments and PAMCo now clearly demonstrating the true reach of magazine media, strong magazine brands will do well. We’re positioning our brands to be the best in their fields, with investments in quality content and experiences that entertain and connect consumers to their passions.”