Five key takeouts from the latest consumer ABCs
The latest consumer magazine audience data have been released today, offering insight into how circulations have been impacted across different stages of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.
Today's release covers the six-month period to June 2021 – the halfway point of the year.
The Mediatel Connected team has been busy analysing the figures and has identified the following key takeouts:
1. Many titles have now moved to yearly reporting
Condé Nast, Hearst UK, Future and Reach have again chosen not to report their half-year circulation figures because of the impact of Covid-19.
Lack of travel and footfall to high streets during lockdown, as well a disruption to distribution, were cited as unusual reasons for sales being impacted when the move was made last year.
Patrick Dolan, Group Account Director at Spark Foundry, said this annual approach is likely to remain in place.
He told Mediatel News: "With the changes at Hearst regarding publishing calendars with titles such as Cosmopolitan moving from 12 issues to 9 copies annually and Elle from 12 to 10, I foresee the annual approach remaining. By reducing copies per year, Hearst are protecting their brands and using their intel to ensure circulations are held."
2. Cookery and Gardening continue to be strong sectors
The move towards more flexible working during the pandemic appears to be reflected in more home interests being cultivated, leading to circulation increases for cookery and gardening titles.
BBC Gardener’s World saw an increase of 36% year on year, while Bauer Media's Garden Answers and Garden News also saw positive growth.
Nick Brown, commercial director at Starcom, said the surge in home-interest demand was among a few positives of the Covid-19 impact on the sector.
"Of the titles that have released figures we can clearly see titles catering for readers passions are still doing very well plus children’s mags are up as people try to juggle work and parenting," Brown said. "The contextual and emotional relevance that magazines give advertisers has never been higher with enforced home working.”
3. Stylist sees figures start to grow as commutes restart
The women's freebie has recovered slightly year on year to maintain over 400,000 editions.
This is likely being bolstered by more people picking up the magazine as commutes slowly begin again post lockdowns and the Covid-19 vaccination programme progressing.
4. Needs for accessible children's news bolsters The Week Junior to strong figures
The Week Junior had a strong result, with increases of nearly 3% period on period and 18% year on year.
This perhaps reflects the current climate and need for child accessible news during the pandemic, with a circulation of over 100,000.
5. Women's weeklies continue their decline
There were no positive gains across the competitive women's weeklies market.
Bauer's Take a Break still leads the field with a combined print and digital (gross) circulation over 335,000 on average weekly.
Read a full breakdown of the figures for all titles in each category: