Tablet boom boosts magazine brands

 Sales of digital editions of magazines increased by 61 per cent in the second-half of 2013, according to latest industry figures. 

TheEconomist-Product-2013_460
Sales of digital editions of magazines such as The Economist increased by 61 per cent in the second-half of 2013.

The number of people reading magazines on mobile devices reached 494,404 in the six months to 31 December, up from 306,487 in the same period a year earlier.

The Economist’s UK digital edition was the most read with a circulation of 12,642 in the period, followed by technology magazine T3 (10,171), Stuff (8,348), BBC Good Food (8,210) and GQ (6,668). 

Despite the gains, sales of digital editions are still relatively small by comparison to print editions. More than 200,000 people bought The Economist’s print edition, for example, in the period.

Total print circulation was down by just 1 per cent in the period to 49.9 million following several consecutive quarters of steeper declines.

TV Choice magazine strengthened its position as the UK’s biggest paid-for title, increasing circulation by 11.8 per cent year on year to reach 1.37 million.

TV Choice and Slimming World (up 0.7 per cent) were the only two paid-for titles to increase circulation year on year in the period. Of those reporting a drop in circulation, What’s On TV (down 14.2 per cent), Saga (down 17.4 per cent) and Closer (down 14.5 per cent) reported the biggest falls. 

The latest ABC report is the first to combine print and digital edition circulations into a single figure.

Barry McIlheney, CEO of the Print Publishers Association, says the shift “marks a significant development in the evolution of measurement for magazine brands” as it better reflects consumption and engagement with magazines. 

He adds: “The industry has long pushed for an appropriate metric that reflects the growing diversity of platforms and audience touchpoints, and this combination of print and digital edition circulations is a very positive step forward.”

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