Marie Claire, the European Magazines monthly title experienced the biggest decline within the Women’s lifestyle titles, dropping 9.9% of its net circulation year on year, down 0.8% on the previous six months despite a revamp of its print and online editions and a £1m marking push.
The women’s lifestyle sector saw overall circulation up 4.7% year on year and up 9.2% on the previous six-month period to 6,580,758, thanks in part to the launch of Stylist magazine the free women’s weekly launched by Shortlist Media in October.
The free weekly magazine has the fifth highest net circulation in the category at 410,674. Its closest rival Bauer Media’s Grazia continued to hold off a decline with a 1.1% year on year increase in circulation to 229,732 in its fifth year of publication
Julia Hutchison COO of the Association of Publishing Agencies, says: “These latest figures also appear to put paid to the long-debated issues of the death of print and that free media is undervalued by readers. The rise of titles such as Shortlist, and the launch of sister magazine Stylist show that consumers actively engage with such titles.”
David Davies, managing director of Grazia, says: “Premium and luxury advertisers have only increased their commitment to the magazine, with Grazia’s advertising market share also substantially up over the last year.”
Bauer Media’s More! magazine saw the biggest increase in the women’s weekly titles, up 6.4% to 192,860 while Evarn’s Look magazine dropped 0.4%.
IPC Southbank’s Essentials was the winner in the sector with circulation up 13.9% year on year to 112,135, up 9.7% on the six months before.
National Magazine Company’s She magazine continued its decline dropping 9.1% year on year to 150,074 while its stablemate Cosmopolitan was pushed out of second place by Asos.com’s freecustomer magazine. Cosmopolitan saw circulation fall 4.5% year on year to 430,353 while Asos magazine’s circulation rose 0.6% year on year to 449,971.
NatMag’s Harpers Bazaar saw its highest ever ABC performance, up 1.1% to 110,638, but the title has been embroiled in a bitter debate this week and NatMags has been criticised for bumping up the title’s circulation with multipack offers where it ahs been sold with stablemates Coast and She magazine. BLM head of press Jo Blake says: “The huge amount of value pack activity within the weekly titles has severely skewed the true ABC figure of many of the titles and we owe it to our clients to look more in depth into this.
“The more traditional weeklies such as Woman and Woman’s Own have not had any real investment into these titles for a couple of years. I think that a real winner within this sector is Bella who have gone from strength to strength with a lot more fashion and celebrity mixed with real life – this has in turn ensured that the title has picked up younger readers, the title has been successful based upon the product and not value packs or a cover price decrease.”
Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chief executive of the National Magazine Company says, “NatMag continues to show resilience and strength in what have been difficult trading conditions. Our titles continue to outperform, subscriptions have increased and we retain market share in many sectors. The market is beginning to recover and with increased innovation, investment and cross-platform growth for our brands, NatMag is well placed to continue this pattern of growth into the future.”
Hachette Filipacchi’s Psychologies title also saw its circulation dive 6.8% year on year to 130, 860. It’s Red magazine saw its highest ever ABC figure with circulation up 3.6% to 226,502.
Women’s health and beauty titles were down 6.6% overall year on year to 379,394.
General health titles such as NatMags’ Zest (down 4.7% year on year to 93,130) and (River Publishing’s Healthy (down 22.3% year on Year to 142,638) suffered.
Fitness focused titles fared better although from a low starting point. Trojan Publishing’s Women’s Fitness increased its circulation by 58.2% year on year to 32,505 and Dennis Publishing’s Health and Fitness rose 8% to 32,580.