ABC Figures: Loaded wounded as men’s sector buckles

FHM, Loaded and Men’s Health all slumped in the latest magazine ABCs, as the men’s magazine market struggled to make room for new entrants.

FHM, Loaded and Men’s Health all slumped in the latest magazine

ABCs, as the men’s magazine market struggled to make room for new


Loaded took a big hit over the year, experiencing an 18.8 per cent drop

in sales, although this was concentrated in the first six months. Emap

Metro’s FHM dropped 6.5 per cent year on year, but it was up slightly

period on period.

Maxim, the third most popular magazine in the sector, suffered much less

than its two rivals, dropping 2.1 per cent year on year.

Andy Semple, Maxim’s publisher, said that he was confident about the

future. ’I predict that a couple of years down the line, the men’s

market will start to resemble the women’s market with two big titles -

FHM and Maxim - way out in front, followed by a middle raft of titles

like Loaded and GQ.’

Things didn’t look much healthier further down the table. Later, IPC’s

title for older men, recorded a muted 90,555. IPC is said to have told

agencies that it was only looking for 100,000 and was ’quite pleased’

with the 1999 figure.

Rodale’s Men’s Health, and Emap’s Sky and Arena were also hit hard and

Esquire and The Face felt the pinch.

Despite these losses, new entrants such as Later and Cabal’s Front

helped drive total circulation for the men’s lifestyle sector up 3.8 per

cent to 2.6 million copies.

John Brown’s Bizarre also bucked the trend, with a year-on-year increase

of 26.7 per cent. Its publisher Mike Dash said the overall figures were

not a surprise.

’These results show that the men’s market needs reinvention. Doing the

things well that you’ve always done well is no longer enough. These

figures as a whole serve as a warning sign for anyone considering

launching into the mainstream men’s market,’ said Dash.

Andy Martin, head of press at CIA, agreed: ’There is a large amount of

fashion in this market. It peaked about a year ago, and now it needs a

boost. It needs someone to reinvent the men’s magazine and come up with

something really original.’

Men’s lifestyle sector

Title               Publisher            ABC     Year on

                                                  year %

FHM                 Emap Metro       702,514        -6.5

Loaded              IPC              371,548       -18.8

Maxim               Dennis           315,102        -2.1

Men’s Health        Rodale Press     233,653       -17.5

GQ                  Conde Nast       142,162         7.5

Front               Cabal            141,742         n/a

Wallpaper           Time             125,984        23.3

Bizarre             John Brown       120,534        26.7

Esquire             NatMags          100,482        -7.2

Sky                 Emap Metro       100,400       -24.2

Later               IPC               90,555         n/a

FHM Collections     Emap              81,849         n/a

Focus               G&J               67,607        -1.7

The Face            Wagadon           61,341       -14.1

Stuff               Haymarket         52,403         n/a

Arena               Wagadon           47,096       -22.7

T3                  Future            46,111         3.3

TOTAL                              2,801,083         6.5

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


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