- The teen magazine market appears to have peaked, registering an overall decline for the first time since the launch of the market leader, Sugar, in 1994.
Sales in the sector slumped 4.6 per cent during the first half of this year, compared with the latter half of 1997. Sugar, published by Attic Futura, experienced its first drop in sales, falling year on year by three per cent and period on period by just over five per cent to 459,984.
Emap Elan's More was down almost 15 per cent year on year to 305,167, while DC Thomson's title, Shout, suffered a 17.7 per cent drop year on year to 171,089.
Attic Futura enjoyed greater success with B, which was launched in May 1997. It turned in a respectable average sale of 212,444, up six per cent on its first ever ABC six months ago. TV Hits was also up a massive 21 per cent period on period to 281,889, and up three per cent year on year. Emap Metro's Smash Hits remained static year on year at 383,191, while BBC Magazines Top of the Pops rose 3.4 per cent to 436,488 year on year.
IPC has managed to reverse the decline of its teen titles, Mizz and 19, following a substantial investment programme which kicked off last year. Mizz did dip 1.5 per cent year on year to 111,476, but period on period managed to nudge circulation up by one per cent. Meanwhile, 19 was up a substantial 8.3 per cent year on year to 172,104.
Chris Boyd, managing director of IPC Southbank, emphasised IPC's intent to up its stake in the teenage market. "Now 19 and Mizz are stable, we are looking at acquiring or launching in this sector. We are very focused on getting back into that market. We can't just have two titles."
Commenting on the overall decline of the teen market, Attic Futura' publisher of TV Hits, Mary McGovern, admitted: "The market has reached a plateau and now come to a point where its coming down somewhat."