Music titles still rock in the growth charts

I wonder how many of your readers found Sonoo Singh’s piece on the magazine ABCs (MW February 23) bafflingly blind to reality?

Maybe your reporter finds the inexorable growth over the past four years in both the volume and real-term sales value of magazines plain boring? But how can she honestly describe a 3.1% rise as equating “stagnant growth”, a rise in growth that is almost double the performance of the UK economy last year?

Should this “stagnant growth” continue in the longer term, publishers in 2015 would be looking back gleefully on a decade when total annual circulation had risen by 36%, or some 500 million copies a year.

Apparently, “music magazines are failing to dazzle”? Tell that to Kerrang! with its robust 23% year-on-year rise, the Word up 22.1%, NME rising 9.7%. How much more dazzling does she want? In total, the largest music market, rock, increased 5.4% period-on-period and 6.4% year-on-year.

As for “Added woe of falling advertising revenue”, clearly your reporter hasn’t seen last month’s Advertising Forecast, published by WARC, which predicts ad expenditure in consumer magazines to increase by 4.6% year-on-year in the first quarter this year, the highest increase since the fourth quarter of 2004.

With the total market for all media only predicted to rise by 1.7% in the first quarter, I would say this a pretty impressive performance by anyone’s standards, particularly given the growing slice of the cake going online.

If this is “circulation gloom” and “advertising woe”, let’s have more of it⦠even if it is boring!

Ian Locks

Chief executive

Periodical Publishers Association

London W2

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