ABC Figures: VNU and Future top IT market as PC and internet titles boom

Although the progress of some individual magazines cannot be checked by any comparative ABCs, the PC and internet market as a whole is without doubt one of the most buoyant. It is also one of the most fast-moving and aggressively competitive.

Although the progress of some individual magazines cannot be

checked by any comparative ABCs, the PC and internet market as a whole

is without doubt one of the most buoyant. It is also one of the most

fast-moving and aggressively competitive.



’You can’t just put anything out and think it will stick,’ Jane Ingham,

Future Publishing’s managing director, said. The company’s internet

magazines alone rose by more than 80 per cent, albeit from a relatively

small circulation.



She expects year-on-year growth of up to 20 per cent.



The PC small-business market - served by magazines such as Computer

Shopper, PC Plus and PC Pro - has been beset by heavy price-cutting. PC

Plus held its cover price and, as a result, lost nearly 8 per cent of

its ’more fickle readers’, as Ingham puts it.



The real success story, however, is VNU’s Computeractive. Launched in

February 1998, its sales rose by a 46 per cent to 325,836, the majority

of which are newsstand sales - a significant achievement in such a

crowded and competitive market. Juliet Parker, the magazine’s publishing

director, said: ’Our growth is from new people coming into the market.

They are new to PCs, to the net and magazines.’ She expects to see the

market grow but warns that it can’t go on forever. ’Thirty-seven per

cent of homes have PCs and I can’t see it going much further than 45 per

cent - so there is a ceiling,’ she added.



Verdict VNU is investing a further pounds 1.8 million in marketing

Computeractive.



More launches - especially in the internet and small business sectors -

are expected. As long as PlayStation is popular, the magazines will

sell.



Computer magazines

Title               Publisher      Total ABC    Period on    Year on

                                                 period %       year

Official

PlayStation         Future           351,775         -8.8       -7.5

Computeractive      VNU              325,836        n/a         45.7

Computer Shopper    Future           173,539        n/a          2.5

PC Pro              Future           165,957        n/a         13.6

PC World            VNU              146,704          8.3       -0.5

PC Plus             Future           111,054        -12.4       -7.7

PC Format           Future           102,810          5.3        7.8

PC Gamer            Future            83,669          8.3       22.6

the net             Haymarket         66,220        n/a        n/a

What PC             VNU               55,077        -12.4       -2.8

.Net                Future            47,702          2.2      n/a

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



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