New brand magazines challenge consumer titles

ABC: Branded customer magazines are continuing to challenge consumer titles with new launches and improved circulation figures, according to the latest ABC figures, as brands seek to bolster marketing messages with branded editorial content.

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During the six month period Virgin Media launched its Electric! magazine with total average circulation of 400,000, while clothing retailer Bonne Marche launched BM magazine reaching an average circulation of 136,388 and Harrods magazine made its debut with a circulation of 104,997.

Half of the Top 10 titles and 25 of the Top 100 by average circulation are magazines produced by brands as part of their marketing communications and more than 60% of customer titles in the Top 100 are new entries or increased their circulation, according to the Association of Publishing Agencies (APA).

The supermarkets dominate the cooking and kitchen category, while Saga Magazine, published by the organisation that targets over 50s is the fifth most actively purchased title with an average circulation of 616,097 for the fist six months of this year, although it recorded a 0.6% fall in circulation compared to the previous six months.

Asda and Tesco’s free in-house magazines have the highest average circulation although both recorded a fall in circulation on the previous period.

Asda magazine fell 16.8% to 1,980,740 in the first half of the year but registered a 1.7% increase in the same period last year.
Tesco magazine’s average circulation fell 2.8% 1,928,687 for the six months to the end of June compared to the previous six months and fell 3.5% compared to the same period a year ago.

Tesco’s Real Food magazine, however, recorded a 4.1% rise in circulation to 1,216,875 during the fist six months of the year, but a 2.7% fall on the year before.

Morrisons Magazine published by Result Customer Communications also saw a 1.8% rise in circulation to 1,137,383.

In the women’s lifestyle category, John Lewis Editions magazine, published by John Brown, has the second highest circulation at 474,579, 2.2% down on the previous, six months while Asos.com’s magazine recorded a 0.5% increase in circulation to 452,000 during the period making it the third highest circulation in the category.

Julia Hutchison, COO of the APA says: “Despite the squeeze on marketing budgets, brands are clearly continuing to see the value of branded content, underlined by the ongoing dominance of customer magazines in today’s ABC CCR report.

“Consumers are turning to brands for information and entertainment as they feel the pinch. Customer magazines continue to offer a tangibility and engagement that no-other medium affords.”

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