ABC Figures: Teenage magazines suffer slide

Overall the teenage market is suffering, with ’celebrity-based’ titles turning in particularly disappointing figures.

Overall the teenage market is suffering, with ’celebrity-based’

titles turning in particularly disappointing figures.

The main casualty was Emap’s Big!, which closed last month. But others,

including the usually effervescent Sugar - the clear market leader - are

also finding it tough going.

’It’s a market that is five years old and the readership has turned

over. Maybe they’re going to other magazines,’ Caroline Connor, group ad

director at Attic Futura, said.

One notable exception was Mizz, whose relaunch last year has helped it

climb back up the ranks of the notoriously fickle teenage market to a

more respectable circulation of 160,426.

It is not quite the 190,000 IPC Magazines had hoped for, but to achieve

a 23.2 per cent year-on-year rise is good going indeed.

’With the exception of Mizz, which has successfully tuned in to its

ten- to 14-year-old audience, many of the teenage magazines are failing

to reflect the confidence and the independence of an increasingly savvy

target market,’ Caroline Simpson, head of press at Zenith Media,


Verdict The notoriously fickle teen market is going to have to run

faster and harder to keep up with trends. There are strong signals that

Sugar is ready to push its brand further into new areas - a move

pioneered by Cosmopolitan, whose portfolio now extends to knickers and


Teenage magazines

Title               Publisher      Total ABC    Period on    Year on

                                                 period %       year

Sugar               Attic Futura     430,217         -0.3        4.8

Top of the Pops     BBC              368,700         -4.3      -15.6

More!               Emap             300,194          2.3        2.3

It’s Bliss          Emap             287,796         -7.3      -14.6

Smash Hits          Emap             241,530          4.7      -18.1

J17                 IPC              230,190         -3.4       -5.1

TV Hits             Attic Futura     205,372        -15.0      -23.7

Live & Kicking      BBC              165,720          5.8        0.3

Mizz                IPC              160,426          6.8       23.2

Looks               Emap             137,091          4.6        0.6

Shout               DC Thomson       126,794         -9.8      -20.4

19                  IPC              126,606        -21.0      -26.9

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


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