ABC FIGURES: Rock titles continue to grow while dance music faces slump

Kerrang!, the overwhelming success story of the last ABCs, continued to boost its circulation during a period in which rock titles were the clear winners, and dance magazines the clear losers.

Kerrang! consolidated its position as the sector's leading weekly title with a period-on-period increase of just over 9 per cent.

Although it failed to match its year-on-year rise of more than 60 per cent, the metal mag was able to pull further away from its nearest rival NME, which steadily increased its growth rate to 2.3 per cent.

NME's editorial director, Steve Sutherland, was pleased with the title's performance. He said: "We've just done the job we've always done and are slowly making good progress. Luckily the NME doesn't have its colours nailed to a particular mast, so we're not likely to fall victim to the volatility of the market in the way that other music mags may."

Among the monthlies, Q remains the market leader despite a fall in sales of 10.2 per cent. In contrast, Mojo continues to perform well, boasting a yearly growth rate of almost 15 per cent.

Classic Rock and Metal Hammer followed in Kerrang!'s footsteps with impressive period-on-period rises in circulation, whereas the dance mags Ministry and Muzik have fallen foul of the public's new-found apathy toward clubbing, posting heavy circulation losses for the period.

The only dance mag to hold its own was mixmag, although Emap accepted that the title must evolve if it is to be spared the fate suffered by its rivals.

VERDICT: Another good showing by the rock titles, but in a sector as cyclical as this, sustained growth is unlikely.

TITLE              PUBLISHER        TOTAL ABC     PERIOD ON      YEAR ON
                                                   PERIOD %         YEAR
Q                  Emap               180,168        -10.20       -10.00
mixmag             Emap               100,336          0.10        -0.10
Mojo               Emap               100,138          3.40        14.90
Kerrang!           Emap                83,988          9.30        60.20
Uncut              IPC                 83,487         14.10        31.80
NME                IPC                 72,057          2.30         2.70
Ministry           MoS                 65,030        -21.70       -13.60
Metal Hammer       Future              44,070         10.00        15.90
Classic Rock       Future              38,554         21.30        19.60
Muzik              IPC                 36,018        -11.20       -18.50
Rock Sound         IXO                 32,074           2.8        18.80
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (Jan-June 2002).

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