Overall the teenage market is suffering, with ’celebrity-based’
titles turning in particularly disappointing figures.
The main casualty was Emap’s Big!, which closed last month. But others,
including the usually effervescent Sugar - the clear market leader - are
also finding it tough going.
’It’s a market that is five years old and the readership has turned
over. Maybe they’re going to other magazines,’ Caroline Connor, group ad
director at Attic Futura, said.
One notable exception was Mizz, whose relaunch last year has helped it
climb back up the ranks of the notoriously fickle teenage market to a
more respectable circulation of 160,426.
It is not quite the 190,000 IPC Magazines had hoped for, but to achieve
a 23.2 per cent year-on-year rise is good going indeed.
’With the exception of Mizz, which has successfully tuned in to its
ten- to 14-year-old audience, many of the teenage magazines are failing
to reflect the confidence and the independence of an increasingly savvy
target market,’ Caroline Simpson, head of press at Zenith Media,
Verdict The notoriously fickle teen market is going to have to run
faster and harder to keep up with trends. There are strong signals that
Sugar is ready to push its brand further into new areas - a move
pioneered by Cosmopolitan, whose portfolio now extends to knickers and
Title Publisher Total ABC Period on Year on
period % year
Sugar Attic Futura 430,217 -0.3 4.8
Top of the Pops BBC 368,700 -4.3 -15.6
More! Emap 300,194 2.3 2.3
It’s Bliss Emap 287,796 -7.3 -14.6
Smash Hits Emap 241,530 4.7 -18.1
J17 IPC 230,190 -3.4 -5.1
TV Hits Attic Futura 205,372 -15.0 -23.7
Live & Kicking BBC 165,720 5.8 0.3
Mizz IPC 160,426 6.8 23.2
Looks Emap 137,091 4.6 0.6
Shout DC Thomson 126,794 -9.8 -20.4
19 IPC 126,606 -21.0 -26.9
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 1999)