ABC FIGURES: Teens shun music publications

Teenage magazines are going through a tough time owing to the launch of celebrity-driven magazines, such as Heat, which are attracting young readers.

Teenage magazines are going through a tough time owing to the launch of celebrity-driven magazines, such as Heat, which are attracting young readers.

In general, the music titles in the teen sector suffered the most severe setbacks. Top of the Pops and Smash Hits were both down.

Those doing well included titles for older teenagers such as 19.

Sugar, the largest circulation title in the sector, experienced a fall in circulation of 1.9 per cent. Its rival title It's Bliss had a 4.3 per cent rise turning around its previous decline.

Top of the Pops, the most significant music title, fell 17.2 per cent with Smash Hits down 8.2 per cent.

The BBC's celebrity-driven title Live & Kicking fell 29.8 per cent to 116,255, partly owing to the collapse in popularity of the Saturday morning TV show of the same title.

Laura James, the press director at New PHD, said: 'The teenage market is fickle. It is driven by what is happening with celebrities, and I can't remember the last time a boy-band was launched. I wonder how many have gone to buy Heat, which may have more interesting coverage.'

Verdict Teenage music magazines will continue to find it tough going with the existing lack of teenage bands being launched. New magazine launches Cosmo Girl and Elle Girl are likely to put more pressure on the titles that are boy-band or celebrity-driven.


Title              Publisher       Total ABC   Period on   Yr on yr

                                                period %

Sugar              Attic Futura      422,179         1.5       -1.9

More!              Emap              305,344         1.7        1.7

Top of the Pops    BBC               305,122       -21.6      -17.2

It''s Bliss         Emap              300,191         4.3        4.3

Smash Hits         Emap              221,622       -11.5       -8.2

TV Hits            Attic Futura      201,855        -1.4       -1.7

J-17               Emap              200,330         0.1      -13.0

 Mizz              IPC               163,672         0.9        2.0

19                 IPC               133,890        -9.7        5.8

Looks              Emap              132,032        -0.8       -3.7

Shout              DC Thomson        123,360         5.8       -2.7

Live & Kicking     BBC               116,255       -17.1      -29.8

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


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