Monthly Archives: February 2011

ABC Magazine Results: Jul-Dec 2010

In this fortnight’s media bulletin, we are focussing on the July – December 2010 ABC Consumer magazine results.

Released last week, the results show a predicted picture of overall decline for the paid for magazine market over the six-month period.

Of the paid-for publications, the TV sector continues to top the chart, with TV Choice remaining the highest selling title, closely followed by What’s On TV and Radio Times.

Despite overall drops in circulation, traditional women’s magazines make up the remainder of top-selling titles, with OK! Magazine, Glamour, Closer, New!, Take a Break and Good Housekeeping all in the top ten.

The News and Current Affairs sector remained steady, with an overall year-on-year increase of 2.3%.

Men’s magazines continued their decline, with an overall annual circulation decrease of 6%.

Unsurprisingly, Sky’s free publications dominated the cross-sector magazines chart, with free supermarket brand magazines also featuring highly in the Top 100 list.

Women’s Lifestyle

Another example of the growing success of free publications in this sector, with Morrisons free Health and Beauty Guide – launched only in May 2010 – coming in at second place.

However, despite an almost 3% year-on-year circulation decrease, paid-for title Glamour remained top-of-the-chart, as the only publication in this sector to achieve a circulation of over 500,000. Four cannot but note how extremely desirable, and expensive, cover mounts have help maintain this title’s supremacy.

While the overall sector did see a slight year-on-year circulation increase, this is almost solely due to the introduction of the free Health and Beauty Guide.  If you take this title out of the sector circulation figures, the remaining paid-for titles actually show a slight decrease period-on-period and year-on-year. Four is aware that many titles managed JUST to maintain a static circulation – the publishers, no doubt, working hard with returns etc to return a ‘positive’ circulation.

Nonetheless, 12 paid-for titles did achieve year-on-year increases.  In particular, titles targeted to an older demographic reported the strongest increases, with IPC Media’s Woman and Home and Essentials, River Publishing’s Healthy, and National Magazine Company’s Good Housekeeping all posting the strongest results of the sector. We believe this demographic – having grown up with the print medium – is maintaining its loyalty in preference to the digital offering.

Magazines targeted to the higher-end of the market such as Harpers Bazaar and Elle, posted year-on-year circulation rises, while Vanity Fair remained static.

Four do not anticipate this depressing trend reversing – the question however, is where is the natural plateau for the print magazine market? The next few years will indicate the perhaps finite ‘paid for’ market . This also explains why publishing mergers will continue. Although Hearst have confirmed that their discussions with BBC Magazines have been halted, into the ring comes Bauer and H Bauer to take up merger negotiations.

Rumour now surrounds the future of IPC Magazines and potential purchasers.

Women’s Lifestyle Magazine Circulations: Jul-Dec 2010 Year On Year Comparisons
Title Publisher Jul-Dec 09 Jul-Dec 10 Actual Change YoY % Ch Jan-Jun 10 PoP % Ch
Glamour Conde Nast Publications 515,281 500,591 -14,690 -2.9 526,216 -4.9
Health & Beauty Guide Result Customer Communications n/a 456,218 n/a n/a n/a n/a Seven Squared 449,971 451,369 1,398 0.3 449,943 0.3
Good Housekeeping National Magazine Company 430,089 443,750 13,661 3.2 422,496 5.0
Cosmopolitan National Magazine Company 430,353 400,575 -29,778 -6.9 401,750 -0.3
woman&home IPC Media 368,388 385,800 17,412 4.7 369,321 4.5
Yours Bauer Consumer Media 284,560 293,016 8,456 3.0 297,231 -1.4
Prima National Magazine Company 288,301 268,421 -19,880 -6.9 289,058 -7.1
Marie Claire European Magazines Limited 283,025 265,042 -17,983 -6.4 280,021 -5.3
Candis Newhall Publications 263,754 247,906 -15,848 -6.0 254,420 -2.6
Red Hachette Filipacchi 226,502 231,028 4,526 2.0 230,067 0.4
Company National Magazine Company 240,035 217,491 -22,544 -9.4 217,324 0.1
Vogue Conde Nast Publications 210,526 211,277 751 0.4 210,561 0.3
Elle Hachette Filipacchi 195,455 200,531 5,076 2.6 195,625 2.5
InStyle IPC Media 184,141 180,574 -3,567 -1.9 186,251 -3.0
Healthy River Publishing 142,638 164,872 22,234 15.6 154,683 6.6
Easy Living Conde Nast Publications 170,033 160,061 -9,972 -5.9 170,054 -5.9
She National Magazine Company 150,074 144,583 -5,491 -3.7 144,228 0.2
Essentials IPC Media 112,135 126,379 14,244 12.7 115,432 9.5
Psychologies Hachette Filipacchi 130,860 120,119 -10,741 -8.2 119,025 0.9
Harpers Bazaar National Magazine Company 110,638 119,712 9,074 8.2 118,553 1.0
Vanity Fair Conde Nast Publications 102,421 102,471 50 0.0 102,445 0.0
Zest National Magazine Company 93,130 88,554 -4,576 -4.9 99,485 -11.0
Tatler Conde Nast Publications 86,345 87,258 913 1.1 86,448 0.9
Top Sante Health & Beauty Bauer Consumer Media 78,541 68,278 -10,263 -13.1 81,848 -16.6
Spirit & Destiny H Bauer Publishing 61,556 55,361 -6,195 -10.1 57,842 -4.3
Ladies First Magazine (Wales) Hils Publications Ltd 36,406 36,457 51 0.1 36,306 0.4
Total 5,645,158 6,027,694 5,616,633

News and Current Affairs

The News and Current Affairs sector maintained fairly robust, with a good overall year-on-year increase of 2.3%.  In particular, The Week posted a very strong 6.4% year-on-year increase, coming second to Private Eye in this sector, which remained top.

News & Current Affairs: Domestic: Jan-Dec 2010 Year On Year Comparisons
Title Publisher Jan-Dec 09 Jan-Dec 10 Actual Change YoY % Change
Private Eye Pressdram Ltd 210,680 207,154 -3,526 -1.7
The Week Dennis Publishing Limited 169,690 180,502 10,812 6.4
Spectator Spectator (1828) Ltd 70,300 70,295 -5 -0.0
Lucan Gazette Gazette Group Newspapers 37,825 41,653 3,828 10.1
The Oldie Oldie Publications 35,965 38,540 2,575 7.2
Prospect Prospect Publishing 28,446 31,932 3,486 12.3
History Today History Today Ltd 22,501 20,584 -1,917 -8.5
The Irish Post Irish Post Media 20,393 18,942 -1,451 -7.1
The Pheonix Imagine Publishing 16,225 16,601 376 2.3
Total: 612,025 626,203 14,178 2.3

Men’s Lifestyle

As expected, Men’s ‘paid for’ magazines continue their decline, with an overall year-on-year change of -6%.  FHM, Nuts, and Zoo posted massive year-on-year decreases of 23.3%, 19.6% and 32.8% respectively.

To put the decline of this sector into perspective, Loaded’s current circulation is a mere 11% of  its peak in the 1990s.

GQ remains static, with no year-on-year change to its circulation. This circulation reflects a known audience which does not appear to change period on period

Mirroring the success of its sister title Healthy, however, Healthy for Men obtained a sector winning 16.8% annual circulation increase.  Men’s Fitness also managed a slight increase, while Men’s Health dropped its annual circulation, with some reader’s possibly migrating to the younger Healthy.

Reflecting the sector-wide success of free publications, Shortlist Media’s free-titles Shortlist and Sport remaining in first and second place of the men’s lifestyle listings.

Men’s Lifestyle Magazine Circulations: Jul-Dec 2010 Year On Year Comparisons
Title Publisher Jul-Dec 09 Jul-Dec 10 Actual Change % Change Jan-Jun 10 PoP % Ch
Shortlist* Shortlist Media Ltd 513,148 521,713 8,565 1.7 518,222 0.7
Sport UTV Media Ltd 306,435 306,540 105 0.0 305,479 0.3
Men’s Health The National Magazine Company Ltd 250,577 245,923 -4,654 -1.9 245,754 0.1
FHM (For Him Magazine) Bauer Consumer Media 231,235 177,261 -53,974 -23.3 192,586 -8.0
Nuts* IPC Media Ltd 176,835 142,212 -34,623 -19.6 147,134 -3.3
GQ Conde Nast Publications Ltd 120,057 120,087 30 0.0 120,063 0.0
Stuff Haymarket Publishing Group Limited 95,695 92,959 -2,736 -2.9 85,370 8.9
BBC Focus Bristol Magazines 71,783 72,183 400 0.6 73,614 -1.9
Men’s Fitness Dennis Publishing Limited 68,037 68,843 806 1.2 68,123 1.1
Zoo* Bauer Consumer Media 102,043 68,610 -33,433 -32.8 80,026 -14.3
Healthy for Men** River Publishing Ltd 51,377 59,992 8,615 16.8 56,356 6.5
Esquire The National Magazine Company Ltd 59,160 59,382 222 0.4 58,151 2.1
Wired Conde Nast Publications Ltd 48,275 50,044 1,769 3.7 50,009 0.1
Loaded IPC Media Ltd 71,251 49,448 -21,803 -30.6 53,591 -7.7
Total: 2,165,908 2,035,197 -130,711 -6.0 2,054,478 -0.9

Women’s Weeklies

Once again Shortlist Media’s free publication Stylist performed well in its sector, and was the only publication in the top twenty to gain an annual circulation increase.

Partly due, perhaps, to the recent TV series The Lady and the Revamp, Britain’s oldest weekly women’s magazine The Lady gained the largest annual circulation rise in the women’s listings with 4.9%

Overall, however, the sector performed badly losing ¾ of a million copies year on year, with all magazines aside from Stylist, The Lady and Real People suffering annual declines resulting in a  decline of 7.4% across the whole sector.

Bauer’s Heat posted a serious decline of 88,000 as celebrities possibly failed to titillate in late 2010. Heat was only beaten in shocking results by OK which dropped a dramatic 23.4 % year on year as perhaps Richard Desmond turned his attention elsewhere in his empire (Five TV). The forthcoming Royal nuptials will assist this circulation to bounce back in Jan – June 2011.

Women’s Weekly Magazines: Jul-Dec 2010 Year On Year Comparisons

Women’s Weekly Magazines: Jul-Dec 2010 Year On Year Comparisons
Title Publishing Company Jul-Dec 09 Jul-Dec 10 Actual Change YoY % Ch Jan-Jun 10 PoP % Ch
Take A Break H Bauer Publishing 900,016 833,522 -66,494 -7.4 855,372 -2.6
New! Northern & Shell 600,741 562,284 -38,457 -6.4 577,899 -2.7
Closer Bauer Consumer Media 539,135 498,683 -40,452 -7.5 526,713 -5.3
OK! Northern & Shell 588,546 450,946 -137,600 -23.4 478,878 -5.8
Star Northern & Shell 492,067 430,324 -61,743 -12.5 440,862 -2.4
Stylist Shortlist Media Ltd 410,674 424,107 13,433 3.3 421,158 0.7
Chat IPC Media Ltd 440,093 415,040 -25,053 -5.7 430,674 -3.6
Hello! Hello! Ltd 409,043 405,608 -3,435 -0.8 412,195 -1.6
Heat Bauer Consumer Media 458,858 370,132 -88,726 -19.3 417,163 -11.3
Woman’s Weekly IPC Media Ltd 344,553 344,068 -485 -0.1 338,577 1.6
Now IPC Media Ltd 394,130 338,328 -55,802 -14.2 338,080 0.1
That’s Life! H Bauer Publishing 378,551 335,772 -42,779 -11.3 341,545 -1.7
Reveal NatMags 330,911 324,590 -6,321 -1.9 332,212 -2.3
Look Evarn Ltd 313,013 311,425 -1,588 -0.5 313,358 -0.6
Woman IPC Media Ltd 316,216 309,878 -6,338 -2.0 318,301 -2.6
Best NatMags 301,440 294,161 -7,279 -2.4 302,309 -2.7
Woman’s Own IPC Media Ltd 298,472 291,700 -6,772 -2.3 272,376 7.1
Pick Me Up IPC Media Ltd 329,943 287,029 -42,914 -13.0 319,305 -10.1
People’s Friend DC Thomson & Co 306,591 282,766 -23,825 -7.8 291,394 -3.0
Bella H Bauer Publishing 253,001 245,286 -7,715 -3.0 246,446 -0.5
Love It! Hubert Burda Media UK 283,379 242,315 -41,064 -14.5 231,617 4.6
Grazia Bauer Consumer Media 229,732 224,421 -5,311 -2.3 228,770 -1.9
Real People NatMags 216,038 218,276 2,238 1.0 225,145 -3.1
More! Bauer Consumer Media 192,860 188,265 -4,595 -2.4 187,159 0.6
Full House Hubert Burda Media UK 180,070 173,999 -6,071 -3.4 175,869 -1.1
My Weekly DC Thomson & Co 145,750 130,190 -15,560 -10.7 134,393 -3.1
National Enquirer – UK Edition American Media Inc 76,504 69,576 -6,928 -9.1 71,649 -2.9
The Lady The Lady 28,782 30,201 1,419 4.9 30,769 -1.8
Total: 9,759,109 9,032,892 -726,217 -7.4 9,260,188 -2.5

TV Listings

H Bauer’s TV Choice and Total TV Guide both recorded the strongest circulation increases in this sector.

Radio Times’ 1.4% circulation increase in the last six months of 2010 failed to bring it back above the 1 million mark.

Although all magazines but one in this sector managed to increase their circulation in the six months of the year, there was a 0.3% circulation decrease year-on-year, with many viewers now using resources on the internet to plan TV consumption.

TV Listings Magazines: Jul-Dec 2010 Year On Year Comparisons
Title Publishing Co Jul-Dec 09 Jul-Dec 10 Actual Change YoY % Ch Jan-Jun 10 PoP % Ch
TV Choice H Bauer Publishing 1,302,382 1,362,384 60,002 4.6 1309469 4.0
What’s On TV IPC Media Ltd 1,245,933 1,257,028 11,095 0.9 1209018 4.0
Radio Times BBC Worldwide Ltd 1,000,648 960,839 -39,809 -4.0 947131 1.4
TV Times IPC Media Ltd 321,005 309,510 -11,495 -3.6 290686 6.5
TV & Satellite Week IPC Media Ltd 185,813 181,150 -4,663 -2.5 184134 -1.6
TV Easy IPC Media Ltd 180,798 168,929 -11,869 -6.6 166781 1.3
Total TV Guide H Bauer Publishing 110,748 121,379 10,631 9.6 109022 11.3
Total: 4,347,327 4,361,219 13,892 -0.3 4,216,241 3.4

Hearst (National Magazines in the UK) pays €651m for Lagardère (Hachette Filipacchi in the UK) magazine business

UK National Magazines

After months of speculation Lagardère, the French conglomerate behind Hachette Filipacchi, best known for Elle magazine, has made a formal announcement that a firm cash offer of €651m (£559m) has been made from Hearst Corporation for Lagardère’s international magazine business.

The offer includes the sale of 102 titles, including UK known brands Red, Inside Soap, and Psychologies.

The deal also includes a Master License Agreement (MLA), which will enable Hearst to use the Elle trademark in these 15 countries.

The outcome in the UK sees Elle and Red housed alongside  Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan in the same publishing house and offers National Magazines a broader spectrum of women’s and fashion titles and pitched against Conde Nast’s premium fashion brand Vogue.

FOUR opinions…

From a media buyers point of view the takeover once again reduces the sales points and therefore has the potential to reduce competition – which is never good. Cross selling will be inevitable – given the circulation figures attributed to Harper’s Bazaar (118,535) versus the younger, but equally aspirational Elle (195,625).

But we also agree with Nicolas Colleridge that Vogue remains the number one brand in the top end market and any combination of other titles is still secondary but this won’t stop buyers trying to use the merger as leverage against the Conde Nast rate structure . In reality Conde Nast has ‘seen off’ would be ‘competitors’ in a very combatative market and we do not expect anything to change. However, the delicately manicured nails will be out in the next few months…

Perhaps the most important aspect of this activity is an acknowledgement of how tough it is out there for Publishing Houses of the ‘printed’ matter and further amalgamations cannot be ruled out as they seek cost-efficiencies in order to maintain their editorial ‘excellence’

What do you think about this take over? Please click here to share your thoughts.

Latest Google Insights – that concentrate the mind!

Global Trends

  • Worldwide internet traffic grew 62% in 2010. The regions experiencing the fastest year on year growth were Eastern Europe and India/South Asia.We at Four can’t help but observe how as this traffic grows it will continue to influence social/political change – witness the recent Yemen & Egypt unrest covered and perhaps exacerbated by internet connectivity

Internet Connected Devices

  • Worldwide ‘tablet’ sales are predicted to grow by more than 400% in the next 2 years; reaching 81.3 million units in 2012
  • Research shows that nearly 1 in 5 UK ‘tablet’ users (19%) has made an online purchases using the device
  • 350 million internet-enabled television sets are expected to be sold worldwide by 2015 – this perhaps, such a natural progression, will have massive implications for client’s marketing and advertising plans.


  • Apparently, more children globally can use a smartphone (19%) than can tie their own shoelaces (9%) – Four would love to see the research data for this amazing statistic!
  • It is estimated that the number of mobile broadband subscribers will hit 1 billion globally by the end of 2011 (up from 500 million in 2010) – the world is shrinking even further

Five things to keep you awake in 2011The Times

  1. What do I need to do about the iPad?
  2. What’s next for social media?
  3. How important is privacy?
  4. Will social media and TV become one?
  5. Are paywalls working?

And if you need some help getting off to sleep, click here to read the full article

HAVE YOUR SAY: Has i-pad hysteria hit your clients? Let us know here

Five things to keep you awake in 2011


Source: MediaWeek

1) What do I need to do about the iPad?

Despite the short time that the i-pad has been on the market, advertisers have rushed to take a piece of the action. However, working out how to exploit the new technology will be a key challenge for 2011.

Michael West of FOUR’s opinion

Personally, I am absolutely amazed regarding the consumer and media owner reaction to the iPad. Here is a concept which wasn’t “new” (several manufacturers had tried tablets but failed previously) and, when announced, it was initially met with some scepticism. Is it necessary? Too expensive? Who will use it? Why will they use it? Etc, But because it’s Apple and, as with anything Apple, they take an existing idea, design it better and make it cool (remember, Apple has never really invented anything, they just perfect).

When it launched, by golly did it take the market by storm (in Q4 alone, over 7 million were sold). Consequently, most major media owners have launched an iPad app (amazing really considering the time frame we are talking about). By autumn, big powerhouses like the FT and The Economist were even holding breakfast seminars discussing the effect of the iPad and how the media landscape will change as a result. Pretty impressive reception if you ask me.

The media landscape has been subject to some major changes due to technology previously- think radio, TV, internet and smart-phones. But I don’t think media owners have ever reacted quite this quickly to the introduction of a new technological addition. And it’s no wonder advertisers are trying milk the cow. Accurate measurement of usage is now the next challenge.

2) What’s next for social media?

Social media, principally Facebook, is a growing force to be reckoned with for advertisers. It has been suggested that people check Facebook as regularly as they check their emails.

There is money in Facebook (and Twitter and YouTube etc) but for the brands that are dedicating spend to social media strategies. The sites themselves might not see much of this money yet but sponsored conversations where “friends” and “followers” are passing on a branding message or blog links/videos is now worth $57 million globally. The figures aren’t frightening on a global scale but there aren’t many advertising segments set to grow by 26% in the coming year.  It’s a time for innovation and the likes of P&G have already run successful campaigns on Twitter with product promotion tweeted by a top celebrity (Kim Kardashian)

3) How important is privacy?

Targeted advertising is increasingly sophisticated and can help consumers find what they want, but it can make for the creation of an online ‘big brother’ experience, when your tastes are being second-guessed by the advertiser’s hidden hand. The question is will it curb peoples online habits? If you know that if you visit a lingerie site on your work computer and within minutes you are served lingerie ads on work or non related sites – will the potential embarrassment limit your surfing?

4) Will social media and TV become one?

It is continually commented on how TV and social media go hand in hand; people updating status’ and engaging in online conversation whilst a TV show is running. The question will be when and how the two will merge into one viewing platform, perhaps through the introduction of internet enabled televisions (expected sales of 350 million worldwide by 2015). Four think in 2020 we will laugh at this question being asked as internet TV’s become the norm.

The introduction of Google TV in the first half of this year will make this a more recognised platform than it is currently. The software also allows for non-Internet TV’s to access the web through a set-top-box, making this option even easier for users to access. It has already opened new opportunities for advertisers within downloadable TV applications much like on smartphones and tablets. However, this could have an effect on TV advertising, as it only adds another distraction for users who might be inclined to turn away whilst viewing an ad break. Four believe ads on online are likely to become synchronised with TV activity – a real challenge for media owners and buyers!

5) Are paywalls working?

It’s still too early to say if online charging will work for mainstream publications such as The Times, given how much free competition is out there. Forecasters are predicting that “Low nutrition content will continue to explode across the web but quality journalism, business insight, financial advice and niche publications will be gradually disappear behind walled corners of the web”. But publishers need patience and deep pockets for this to become the norm

Want to have your say? Email us your thoughts!