Magazine ABCs: Women's weeklies highs and lows

OK! magazine: shows the greatest growth
OK! magazine: shows the greatest growth

In the fast and loose woman's weeklies, OK! Magazine and That's Life bucked the downward trends to report lifts in their circulations for the last six months of 2014.

Despite the latest consumer magazine ABCs showing a slide for most of the women's weekly titles, there has been some positive growth in the half year to the end of December 2014.

Northern & Shell's OK! Magazine showed the greatest growth during the last period, gaining a 5.9% uplift to take circulation to 292,578, although it was down 5.1% on the same period last year.

Not far behind is H Bauer's That’s Life, which grew 3.2% in the last six months to 260,933. However, similarly to OK!, the title also saw a decline year on year, falling 6.4%.

David Goodchild, chief executive of H Bauer Publishing, said: "Thanks to a continuous programme of investment our magazines remain entertaining, compelling, thought provoking and trusted. The fact that many of our titles remain at the top of their market is proof that H Bauer has the ability to build and motivate communities with engaging magazine content."

Still topping the weeklies is H Bauer's Take A Break, with a circulation of 645,884, although this is a 1.7% dip on the last period, and a 7.3% drop year on year. But with 47 consecutive periods as the top-selling women's weekly, editor Rebecca Fleming said the secret of Take a Break's success has been in "creating a passionate community of like-minded readers".

And while only increasing by 0.6% on the last period, and 0.1% year on year, Woman's Weekly was the second most popular weekly title, with a circulation of 307,756. According to Time Inc UK, which publishes the title, the success is down to its presence on 13 platforms, including an events programme, book series and five special series every month.

Marcus Rich, chief executive of Time Inc UK, said: "This robust set of results is testament to Time Inc UK's ability to connect with our audiences in print. Our depth in reaching an older audience is demonstrated in the outstanding success of Woman's Weekly and What’s on TV."

And over at Hearst, which had a particularly successful set of results with monthly title Good Housekeeping, the outlook wasn’t as rosy for its weeklies.

Best dipped 4.9% on last period to a combined ABC of 195,427, as well as falling 6.4% on the year, while Reveal was down to 160,910, dropping 3.7% on last period and 9.8% year on year, although Real People grew 3% to 175,159 in the last six months.

However, chief executive Anna Jones backed the titles. She said: "We are committed to offering our consumers the content they love and we will continue to build on our trusted brands."

Meanwhile, Bauer Media UK’s chief executive Paul Keenan shared his optimism for the business’s weekly titles, which include Grazia, Heat, Closer, and Yours.

He said: "This ABC release reveals that our magazine media deliver significant reach in print. In print, stand out performances this period include Grazia, which is 10 years young this month, which remains stable and continues to attract commercial partners eager to harness the brand’s unique access to 25-35 ABC1 women. Yours records another market-beating performance and continued stability."

Yours reached 270,010, down 0.9% on last period, while Closer had a circulation of 298,760, a drop of 4.5% on the six months before. Heat also lost circulation, down 6.9% to 204,917, while Grazia managed 154,036, a small loss of 0.8%.

Some of the biggest losers for this period include Northern & Shell’s New!, which shed 8.1% this period, taking its circulation to 301,190, stablemate Star, down 9.9% to 191,175, and Time Inc UK's Now magazine, down 10.2% to 162,696.

Hello!, which prefers to position itself in the Women's Lifestyle & Fashion sector, saw its circulation fall 4.5% year on year, however if you strip the bulks, frees and overseas sales, you get to an actively purchased rise of 2.58% year on year to 215,636. The publisher attributes success of the magazine to the "direct result of continued investment in the title’s editorial exclusives", which included the surprise Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie wedding and the well publicised George Clooney & Amal wedding.

Magazine ABCs

Title Platform Total PoP% YoY%
Take a Break Print 645,884 -1.7 -7.3
Chat Print 301,619 -1.8 -8.6
New! Print 296,682 -8.1 -20.7
Closer Print 297,519 -4.5 -11.8
Woman's Weekly Print 307,315 0.6 0.1
OK! Magazine Print 285,803 6.3 -5.2
That's Life Print 260,933 3.2 -6.4
Woman Print 251,668 -0.9 0.1
Woman's Own Print 219,693 -2.5 -2.5
Peoples Friend Print 225,607 -1.8 -6
Bella Print 198,832 1.9 -7.7
Heat Print 203,728 -6.9 -15.6
Best Print 195,204 -4.9 -6.4
Star Print 189,844 -10 -27.2
Real People Print 174,827 3 -5.8
Reveal Print 159,777 -3.5 -9.7
Now Print 161,066 -10.1 -17.4
Pick Me Up Print 158,923 -2.5 -13.3
My Weekly Print 106,425 0.1 -4.6
Love It! Print 100,862 -2.4 -10.5

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