ABC FIGURES: Gaming magazines top market despite internet title growth

By CAMILLA PALMER, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 25 August 2000 12:00AM

The fragmented computer magazine sector was dominated by readers’ continued obsession with games - Future Publishing’s Official PlayStation Magazine was a clear leader in this year’s ABC figures with a circulation of 300,459.

The fragmented computer magazine sector was dominated by readers’

continued obsession with games - Future Publishing’s Official

PlayStation Magazine was a clear leader in this year’s ABC figures with

a circulation of 300,459.



Although it beat its nearest rival, Computer Shopper, by a hefty

134,000, PlayStation did not match its performance of last year,

suffering a 22.1 per cent slide year on year.



While subject matter may be fragmented, with gaming, purchasing guides

and manufacturer-branded titles jostling for position, the publishing

houses themselves are consolidating. Future and Dennis Publishing now

produce two-thirds of the top sellers in the computer sector.



Building on the success of Official PlayStation Magazine, Computec

launched PlayStation World, which reached 100,374 in its first ABC

audit.



The figures also suggest that niche magazines are moving into

growth.



Haymarket’s launch, the net, tapped into the growing market for consumer

internet magazines, achieving a circulation of 66,381 in its first

year.



The 7.2 per cent year-on-year slide for Future’s PC Plus was offset by

an 8.9 per cent rise for its stablemate PC Gamer, while Dennis’ PC Pro

showed 7 per cent year-on-year growth.



VERDICT: Future and Dennis, the dominant forces in the sector, are

looking predatory and may attempt to build on their sizable market share

with further acquisitions of niche titles. Increasing consumer interest

in the internet will fuel development and possible brand extensions in

this area.





COMPUTER MAGAZINES


Title                    Publisher       Total ABC   Period on   Year on

                                                      period %      year


Official PlayStation     Future            300,459       -14.6     -22.1

Computer Shopper         Dennis            166,474        -4.1      -3.9

PC Pro                   Dennis            166,033         0.0       7.0

PC World                 VNU               133,361        -9.1      -5.9

PC Plus                  Future            117,645         5.9      -7.2

PlayStation World        Computec          100,374         n/a       n/a

PC Gamer                 Future             84,060         0.5       8.9

PC Zone                  Dennis             73,446        -6.1       3.2

Nintendo Official        Emap               71,310        -9.4     -20.9

the net                  Haymarket          66,381        11.4       n/a

.N64                     Future             61,687        -8.0     -25.6

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (January-June 2000).



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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