ABC FIGURES: Hard rock on the rise as Britpop falls away

Circulations for hard-core rock and dance music titles are soaring, but specialist indie rock magazines have been in decline following the end of the Britpop boom.

Circulations for hard-core rock and dance music titles are soaring, but specialist indie rock magazines have been in decline following the end of the Britpop boom.

Magazines showing the most impressive growth in the sector are the dance titles Mixmag and Ministry the and rock magazine Kerrang!

Indie rock titles had a bad quarter with IPC forced to close its Melody Maker title and merge it with New Musical Express, which saw its circulation fall. Select, the monthly title owned by Emap, was also forced to close.

Mixmag is up an impressive 47.1 per cent year on year to 106,111 as the market for dance music titles grows.

Ministry, the title named after the Ministry of Sound nightclub, grew 8.1 per cent year on year. IPC's dance title Muzik had a less impressive 0.3 per cent growth.

Judging by the success of heavy metal titles, rock is cool again. Kerrang! is up 11.6 per cent year on year and Metal Hammer 12.7 per cent period on period.

Emap is planning the launch of a new monthly called Kingsize that will combine heavy rock with coverage of indie guitar music, a further sign of the lucrative nature of the rock market.

The classic rock monthly Q was down 3.4 per cent year on year to 204,014.

However, IPC's Mojo title was up 5 per cent. NME was down 8 per cent, but may see an increase over the next six months following the Melody Maker closure.

Classical music titles also had a good quarter with strong growth for BBC Music, up 22.2 per cent year on year, and Gramophone, up 2 per cent.

Classic FM had a less impressive increase of 0.6 per cent.

Verdict The increased popularity of dance music, together with the demise of Britpop, has led to the success of specialist dance titles.

The other titles that look likely to succeed are those that combine coverage of traditional guitar music with heavy rock.


Title           Publisher          Total ABC   Period on   Yr on yr

                                                period %

Q               Emap                 204,014        13.7       -3.4

Mixmag          Emap                 106,111        10.0       47.1

BBC Music       BBC Worldwide        100,082         n/a       22.2

Ministry        Ministry of Sound     90,235        -5.1        8.1

Mojo            Emap                  84,010         2.7        5.0

NME             IPC                   70,003        -8.2       -8.0

Gramophone      Haymarket             51,321         n/a        2.0

Kerrang!        Emap                  47,004         3.7       11.6

Muzik           IPC                   43,748         9.1        0.3

Classic FM      Haymarket             38,356         n/a        0.6

Metal Hammer    Future                37,069        12.7       -0.2

Classic Rock    Future                32,861        18.1        n/a

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 2000)


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