ABC Figures: Rock titles’ popularity slumps

The latest ABC figures confirm that the established rock music titles have again failed to strike a chord with readers.

The latest ABC figures confirm that the established rock music

titles have again failed to strike a chord with readers.

It was the weekly titles such as Melody Maker and the NME that suffered

the most in the latest results. Despite being relaunched as an A4 colour

magazine backed by a pounds 500,000 marketing spend last year, Melody

Maker registered a 5.7 per cent decline period on period. NME declined

by 20 per cent in the same period.

The Ministry of Sound’s magazine, Ministry, rose by 36 per cent and

IPC’s Uncut saw a 25 per cent increase year on year. Uncut, which is

only 34 issues old, is still discovering readers and further increases

are expected.

Its success in covering film, books and music aimed at the Mojo and Q

reader shows that there continues to be mileage in targeting an older


There was also evidence of this in Mojo’s figures, which saw a

respectable 6.8 per cent rise year on year.

Niche titles such as Mixmag, which is published in partnership with Kiss

100, saw a 9.9 per cent rise year on year.

Publishers have admitted that there is room for improvement. Andy

McDuff, the managing director of IPC music and sport, said that ’the

music weeklies have yet again faced turbulent times’. He added that the

situation at NME, which is about to undergo a review, is ’far from

satisfactory’. Select, which had a disappointing set of figures - down

by more than 20 per cent year on year - is set to be relaunched in


Verdict The outlook is positive for the younger weekly market, with the

impending launch of NME Radio and the ’nu-metal’ boom, which is helping

buoy up Kerrang!’s sales. The weightier titles are also taking action to

boost sales: Mojo is planning to launch in the US and Q is set to

exploit its brand with an extension into TV and radio.

Music magazines

Title               Publisher      Total ABC    Period on    Year on

                                                 period %       year

Q                   Emap             211,229          3.3        0.2

Ministry            MoS               83,486          3.7       35.9

Mojo                Emap              80,040          6.5        6.8

NME                 IPC               76,079        -16.2      -16.1

Mixmag              Emap              72,115          7.2        9.9

Select              Emap              56,049         -3.8      -21.4

Uncut               IPC               50,220         12.8       25.0

Muzic               IPC               43,606          0.2        1.2

Kerrang!            Emap              42,116          2.5        1.5

Melody Maker        IPC               32,115         -5.7      -20.4

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 1999)


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