Time Inc's Look drops 30%

Women's lifestyle sector
Women's lifestyle sector

Time Inc's Look was the biggest loser in the women's lifestyle sector, with its circulation in freefall.

Look dropped by 30% year-on-year and by 27.3% in the first six months of the year. Its circulation now stands at 56,570 actively purchased copies.

It's sister title Marie Claire fell by 13.7% year on year to 115,493. However its total circulation was 155,723, which means 23% were distributed for free, a strategy similar to Hearst's Cosmopolitan.

Time Inc pointed out that Marie Claire grew by 0.9% over the period overall following a redesign at the end of last year and a new distribution strategy that targets customers of the Fabled by Marie Claire beauty business. Although the title had a 5.8% total fall in circulation.

The Hearst titles Women’s Health, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar also used extensive bulks to boost its numbers. The company attributed the relative success of Elle to its lookfantastic.com beauty box partnership and Harper’s Bazaar to its partnerships with the V&A and Kensington Palace as well as presence at events such as RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which has brought about more targeted distribution. Looking at year-on-year actively purchased copies Women's Health fell by 9.3%, Elle by 14% and Harper's Bazaar by 14.7%.

Good Housekeeping remains the biggest title in the sector with sales of 350,652 – a year-on-year decline of 5.4%. Second-placed Cosmopolitan saw its circulation fall by 2.3% over the period and 1.2% year-on-year, despite its policy of bulks – only 75.9% of its total circulation was actively purchased.

Condé Nast’s Glamour saw its circulation leap by 6.9% over the period to 249,879. However it dropped year-on-year by 7.1%. Condé Nast said that the title is now 46% bigger than Marie Claire and Elle combined on the UK newsstand, the highest percentage lead since 2011.

Vogue saw its circulation fall 7% year-on-year. It now stands at 126,290. Condé Nast said that its actively purchased sales have overtaken those of Elle and Harper’s Bazaar combined.

Scott Braniff, trading director at MEC, commented: "There are some mixed results across the monthly sector however publishers who are innovating their distribution models are seeing success. Adapting to changing reader behaviour via 'dynamic distribution' has delivered some strong results for Hearst. This new model allows Hearst to support how their readers want to consume content whether it be music festivals, cinemas or shopping centres.

"There have still been some large declines, specifically in the younger weeklies, as consumers use digital to consume shorter form snackable content across multiple publishers and sources. This isn’t a new trend and continues to show that publishers must look at different ways for their audience to access and pay for content in line behaviour and their expectations."

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