Magazine ABCs: Top 100 at a glance

View the Top 100 actively purchased magazines and digital editions in the first six months of 2015.

Magazines ABCs: Top 100 at a glance in 2015
Magazines ABCs: Top 100 at a glance in 2015

The embattled climate for British magazines continued in the first half of 2015, with average circulations falling 5.3 per cent.

In relative terms, the best performing fully paid-for titles were Mega (up 43 per cent to 34,495) and CBeebies Magazine (up 25 per cent to 69,466).

Haymarket's Forever Sports, published under contract for Sports Direct, has stabilised after 45 per cent growth in the last audit to achieve a circulation of 90,539.

Stand-out performersInside Tatler - BBC2 documentary

There were other notable pockets of growth in the print and digital magazines during the January - June 2015 period reported today by the Audited Bureau of Circulations.

In the monthies, Tatler's sales continue to grow following the BBC2 documentary at the end of last year. Since the fly on the wall three part series, the high-society magazine has defied the downward trends to post a 9.5 per cent increase year on year, and an 8.7 per cent lift in purchased copies period on period, to 84,383.

This marks the second ABC period lift since the programme aired. In total, Tatler's UK subscriptions have risen by 18.8 per cent year on year; publishing director, Patricia Stevenson, admits: "Tatler has without question benefited from the increased profile which the BBC documentary".

Speaking to Campaign, Stevenson adds: "Pleasingly these new readers are remaining with us, enjoying the unique mix of glamour, access and humour the magazine offers. "Gratifyingly the Tatler. com audience is also up, with both the new design and content proving very popular. All in all great results all round."

Another title experiencing market beating growth is the satirical news magazine Private Eye. The 5.0 per cent rise year on year to 228,264 represents the best circulation for the fortnightly magazine in almost 30 years. Private Eye’s editor, Ian Hislop, says: "These figures are completely unbelievable. Are they from the Treasury?"

Elsewhere, Radio Times is claiming the crown for being the UK’s "biggest-selling quality magazine", with a weekly print ABC of 712,927. Radio Times is also the UK’s biggest weekly subscription title, with 253,390 subscribers, a 5 per cent year-on-year increase as more than 1 in 3 readers now choose to develop a long term relationship with the title.

The first ever Radio Times Festival is taking place in Hampton Court in September, as the brand continues to engage people in new and exciting ways.

However, H Bauer’s TV listings title, TV Choice, remains the biggest-selling magazine in the UK with a circulation of 1.27 million, extending its lead on Time Inc's What’s on TV with 1.03 million.

In the fashion and beauty sector, In Style rose 2.0 per cent year on year. Marcus Rich, chief executive of Time Inc, says: "This impressive rise is the second annual increase in a row under editor Charlotte Moore and sees the title outperform the market by some way."

Hearst's Good Housekeeping remains the leader of the women’s monthlies with a print circulation of 400,647, followed by Condé Nast's Glamour (366,068) despite six-monthly falls of nearly 4 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

Digital successEconomist's media assets

In terms of success with digital editions, The Economist leads the charge, with digital circulation up 22 per cent worldwide over the last six months, and 69 per cent year on year. Total digital circulation now stands at a record 282,829 copies.

Michael Brunt, chief marketing officer at The Economist, says: "Our latest circulation numbers are in line with what we have seen over the last few years – a steady migration to digital. "Whilst the majority of our new customers still choose a subscription that provides both print and digital formats, the number choosing digital-only circulation has grown tremendously.

"This is making our circulation increasingly profitable, as our revenues are increasing and at the same time, our costs are decreasing. We’ve enjoyed the benefits of this trend for some time and it’s a great position to be in."

In the wider marketplace, after several periods of growth - albeit from a low base - 37 of the 90 digital editions audited by ABC for this period, reported falls in digital circulationd from the first half of 2014 as tablet sales slow down and competition increases.

In the celebrity sector, digital sales for Mark Frith's new home, Now, dropped 40.8 per cent to 1,137, accompanied by double-digit falls for rivals Reveal (- 36.8 per cent to 954), OK (-32.5 per cent to 4,998), New (-28.5 per cent to 3,561) and Hello (-27.3 per cent to 4,792).

Other notable drops in digital circulations included Cosmopolitan (- 25.1 per cent to 4,905), Empire (-12.5 per cent to 11,443), Men's Health (-12 per cent to 9,113) and Women's Health (-11.6 per cent to 5,261).

Strong digital performers were Closer (up 93.1 per cent to 2,472) and Heat (up 76 per cent to 2,135). In addition, FHM and Zoo - while experiencing double-digit falls in annual print sales, saw digital circulations increase by 61.4 per cent to 5,486 and 57.1 per cent to 3,214, respectively [see table below].

Freemium continues to growshortlist magazine

It should be noted, not included in this Top 100 ranking are the free magazines owned by brands or in the growing freemium space pioneered by ShortList Media. ShortList's new ABC figure is 502,267 for the period Jan-Jun 2015, Stylist's was 403,200. 

The freely distributed Time Out had a stable distribution of 308,041 and Sport magazine reported 304,401. The sector is set to expand in the coming months as music title NME moves to a free model, and other publishers - including Dennis Publishing - also prepare to move into the space.

Top 100 in Print Magazines

Title June end 2015 Prd-prd % change Yr-yr % change
1 TV Choice 1,276,045 0.8 -2.1
2 What's on TV 1,013,702 -4.1 -2.1
3 Radio Times 712,927 -9 -6.5
4 Take a Break 608,743 -5.8 -7.4
5 Slimming World Magazine 539,437 11 16
6 Saga Magazine 385,638 -8.3 -15
7 Good Housekeeping 400,647 -3.8 -0.7
8 Glamour 366,068 -8.5 -8.6
9 Woman & Home 326,417 -6.1 -4.4
10 Closer 281,136 -5.5 -9.8
11 Woman's Weekly 296,317 -3.6 -3
12 Chat 273,434 -9.3 -11
13 Prima 263,273 -1.4 0
14 Yours 272,603 1 0.1
15 New! 247,735 -16.5 -23.3
16 Woman 246,533 -2 -2.9
17 That's Life 241,289 -7.5 -4.5
18 Private Eye 228,264 4 4.6
19 Sainsbury's Magazine 218,034 -5.3 0.5
20 TV Times 212,869 -10.4 -6.6
21 HELLO! 256,541 -4.7 -5.1
22 Woman's Own 208,158 -5.3 -7.7
23 BBC Gardeners' World 206,168 14 -5
24 BBC Good Food 209,847 -12 -7.1
25 Cosmopolitan 253,543 0.5 -10.2
26 The People's Friend 214,414 -5 -6.7
27 National Geographic Magazine 204,958 -6.5 -9.7
28 Bella 187,095 -5.9 -4.1
29 OK! Magazine 195,017 -31.8 -27.4
30 Heat 183,220 -10.1 -16.3
31 Red 184,922 -2 -1.8
32 Best 170,877 -12.5 -16.8
33 Ideal Home 172,991 -6.8 -11.1
34 Real People 156,100 -10.7 -8.1
35 The Week 202,842 1.4 1.7
36 Marie Claire 183,936 -6.3 -8.1
37 Star 147,460 -22.3 -30.1
38 Men's Health 184,788 -3.1 -6.1
39 The Economist - United Kingdom Edition 156,961 -9.8 -22.3
40 Country Living 165,996 -7.8 -5.9
41 Pick Me Up 143,373 -9.8 -12
42 Take a Break Series 141,647 -17.9 -10.3
43 TV & Satellite Week 137,232 -5 -7.8
44 Now 139,152 -13.6 -22.4
45 Vogue 191,659 0 -0.2
46 Reveal 132,134 -17.3 -20.2
47 Elle (U.K.) 160,232 0.6 6.5
48 Grazia 139,137 -7.1 -8.1
49 Inside Soap 122,230 -6.8 -8.3
50 Candis 121,918 -8.8 -20.3
51 Look 129,624 -15.3 -22.1
52 Empire 133,210 1.9 -1.3
53 Your Home 119,621 0.2 -3.3
54 Women's Health 119,479 5.8 9
55 Total TV Guide 108,851 -3.3 1.1
56 House Beautiful 110,884 -9 0.2
57 My Weekly 103,137 -3.1 -3
58 InStyle UK 148,932 -0.6 2.4
59 Reader's Digest 153,175 8.5 14.7
60 Style at Home 96,886 -3.1 -8.9
61 Essentials 103,408 -3.9 -4.6
62 Disney Frozen 91,011
63 HELLO! Fashion Monthly 90,892
64 BBC Top Gear Magazine 119,102 -8.7 -8.1
65 Fun to Learn - Peppa Pig 86,059 -7.5 -12.2
66 GQ 109,785 -2.5 -3.4
67 25 Beautiful Homes 80,280 -10.8 -16.9
68 HomeStyle 70,767
69 Country Homes and Interiors 82,569 -5.6 -9.4
70 CBeebies Magazine 69,466 15.4 25.4
71 Homes & Gardens 102,680 -9.3 -10.6
72 Living etc 84,328 -4.3 -8.6
73 House & Garden 111,261 -2.7 -3.4
74 Peppa Pig Bag-o-Fun 67,305 4 -10.3
75 LEGO Ninjago 58,070
76 Toxic 55,004 5.8 10
77 LEGO Legends of Chima 54,370 1.1 19.1
78 Forever Sports 90,539 0.5 45.4
79 Cbeebies Art 53,378 -1.4 -8.4
80 OMG 52,609
81 Psychologies Magazine 59,904 -6.2 -15.8
82 Swashbuckle 51,007
83 Harpers Bazaar 103,288 -5.4 -1.9
84 Soaplife 50,917 -6.1 -17
85 delicious 58,006 -10.3 -6
86 Cbeebies Special 49,354 -6.2 -6.2
87 MoneyWeek 47,986 -8.9 -17.1
88 Disney's Princess 46,545 -17.1 -22.4
89 Auto Express 45,312 -1.6 -2.9
90 Tatler 82,136 0.1 -0.1
91 Fun to Learn - Friends 46,683 -5.5 -20.1
92 Something Special 43,309 7.4 -1.4
93 Elle Decoration 61,712 -5.1 -5.9
94 Top of the Pops 43,015 5.8 -7.7
95 All About Soap 42,773 -16.7 -23.3
96 Thomas and Friends 42,010 0.5 4.3
97 The Oldie 46,144 1.3 1.6
98 Sparkle World 48,749 9.9 0
99 Top Sante Health & Beauty 47,217 7.6 -5.7
100 The Spectator excluding Australia 55,669 1.6 2.6

Top 100 in Digital Editions

Title June end 2015 Prd-prd % change Yr-yr % change
1 The Economist - United Kingdom Edition 70,953 42 225.8
2 The Week Magazine 30,750 11.3 17
3 BBC Top Gear Magazine 14,562 3 7.4
4 Attitude 12,207 -3.9 -8.7
5 Empire 11,443 -1.6 -12.5
6 GQ 11,300 -9.7 -0.5
7 Slimming World Magazine 10,970 -5.9 -5.6
8 BBC Good Food 10,258 -4.6 -6.7
9 Men's Health 9,113 -4 -12
10 Vogue 8,399 -1.5 5.6
11 Wired 7,692 -7.5 -5.5
12 Vanity Fair 6,817 -11.7 -15.6
13 National Geographic Magazine 6,555 -29.2
14 FHM 5,486 62 61.4
15 Women's Health 5,261 1.8 -11.6
16 Esquire 5,195 -8.2 -8.5
17 The Economist - Middle East/Africa Edition 5,135 37.4 53.1
18 OK! Magazine 4,998 -26.2 -32.5
19 Cosmopolitan 4,905 -10.7 -25.1
20 HELLO! 4,792 14.4 -27.3
21 Elle Decoration 4,694 -5.2 -20.2
22 Grazia 4,681 11.7 18.2
23 Living etc 4,285 4.5 17.3
24 Lonely Planet Traveller 4,083 44.8 45
25 Woman & Home 3,990 -3.9 20.1
26 Glamour 3,944 -17.5 -15.3
27 Red 3,922 2.5 7
28 Elle (U.K.) 3,849 -8.5 -20.8
29 Investors Chronicle 3,645 12.2
30 New! 3,561 -21 -28.5
31 Good Housekeeping 3,558 12.5 5.9
32 Grand Designs 3,323 -0.9 -13.1
33 Zoo 3,214 61.9 57.1
34 Psychologies Magazine 3,208 36 25.7
35 Olive 3,095 34.8 47.7
36 Jamie Magazine 3,011 -15.9 9.7
37 Q 2,894 21.4 28.2
38 Country Living 2,804 12.7 12
39 Harpers Bazaar 2,801 11.5 -11.4
40 BBC Gardeners' World 2,780 22.6 30.3
41 Closer 2,472 99.2 93.1
42 Country Homes and Interiors 2,453 21.8 45.9
43 Look 2,274 -15.8 -13
44 Tatler 2,247 5.4 26.2
45 Inside Soap 2,225 12.3 -24.7
46 What's on TV 2,160 9.6 18.9
47 Heat 2,135 79.6 76
48 Homes & Gardens 2,127 -0.7 16
49 Marie Claire 2,074 2.3 -0.3
50 Uncut 2,065 14.2 34.1
51 BBC Easy Cook 1,874 64 89.3
52 Ideal Home 1,851 -5.2 1.9
53 House & Garden 1,786 6.9 -6.6
54 Health & Fitness 1,652 -19.5 -35.5
55 Conde Nast Traveller 1,551 25.8 3.5
56 Prospect 1,534 10.1
57 Octane 1,479 6.2 0.1
58 Doctor Who Magazine 1,350 -15.8 -2
59 World Of Interiors 1,341 6.9 -6.6
60 Top Sante Health & Beauty 1,328
61 25 Beautiful Homes 1,279 8.4 24.5
62 Instyle UK 1,235 -26.9 -29.1
63 Chat 1,154 -13.6 -7.1
64 House Beautiful 1,143 6.2 13.2
65 Now 1,137 -30.2 -40.8
66 Women's Fitness 1,097 -13.6 -29.9
67 Land Rover Monthly 1,094 7.1 2.9
68 TV & Satellite Week 1,072 3.1 20.6
69 Style at Home 1,025 -11.5 -13.4
70 Reveal 954 -15.8 -36.8
71 Star 930 -30.1 -31.2
72 Prima 882 26.9 25.3
73 Woman 870 -9.3 -8.6
74 Your Home 866 -3.8 -3.5
75 Prima Baby 850 47.3 7.1
76 Essentials 789 6 14
77 Woman's Own 764 -3.5 1.2
78 Saga Magazine 716 -0.8 6.7
79 Good Homes 710 11.1
80 Pick Me Up 527 -12.9 -11.6
81 All About Soap 512 16.6 -32.5
82 Soaplife 511 38.1 43.5
83 Good Things 489
84 Woman's Weekly 476 7.9 20.8
85 The People's Friend 400 10.8 81
86 Real People 378 14.2 26.4
87 Best 350 57 42.9
88 TV Times 315 15 8.2
89 HELLO! Fashion Monthly 177
90 Gurgle Magazine 58 -63.8 -87.2

Audit Bureau of Circulations

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