ABCs: IPC’s latest circulation figures point to a number of challenges for incoming chief executive Evelyn Webster but offer potential springboards for growth in certain sectors.
Look magazine, part of women’s weeklies division IPC Connect, has recorded the biggest circulation rise in its sector, as some observers predicted. Webster pictured) was directly responsible for the title as MD of Connect before her recent promotion and it was only one of a handful of titles to increase year on year circulation in the ABC women’s lifestyle/fashion category.
IPC’s weekly celebrity title Now remains in the top 10, although it has fallen outside of the Top five with a year on year circulation drop of 7.8% year on year.
Meanwhile IPC Southbank’s women’s monthly InStyle UK also bucked the general trend by adding 0.8% readers year on year to reach a circulation of 180,987, although the division saw mixed results as circulation at Marie Claire fell year on year by 4.8%. However it remains the third biggest selling women’s fashion and lifestyle monthly.
Men’s magazines are suffering, however, and calls for Webster to act swiftly to deal with IPC Ignite, the division responsible for music and men’s titles including NME and Loaded, will get louder after today’s ABC’s, which showed a further slump in its circulation performance.
In the lads’ mag sector, Loaded dropped readers by 21.7 per cent year-on-year and its average net circulation is now 90,071, while Nuts down 6.4 per cent period-on-period to 234,034. In the music sector, NME slid by 24.3% to 48,459.
Liam Mullin, senior press buyer at media buying agency the7stars says the numbers in both sectors could reflect online migration among target audiences.
He said: “Are their younger readers getting their kicks online? Or is quality content triumphing over T&A?”
The publisher’s rescue plan is likely to focus on further brand extensions into other media, including online, but TV has not proven fruitful with the recent cancellation of Nuts TV.
IPC TX, the division responsible for TV consumer magazines, managed to grow its Soaplife circulation by 9.6% year on year, while What’s On TV, TV Times and TV Easy are ranked at two, three and four respectively in the sector.
Webster says: ““While there is no denying that all media owners are facing challenging times, IPC is strongly positioned to take advantage of its huge range of powerful brands across platforms.”
Webster took over from CEO of five years Sylvia Auton, who will remain chairman and executive vice president at parent Time Inc based in New York City.