ABC FIGURES: Teenage mags fail to halt decline

Despite heavy and costly cover mounting, the teenage lifestyle market had a lacklustre time.

Cosmo Girl has failed to live up to expectations of becoming the number one title, and has not expanded the market - instead it has merely stolen share from other magazines in the sector.

"I don't care which magazine I get the readers from, so from an advertising perspective this has been a disappointing set of results from a magazine which promised so much, Optimedia's head of magazines, Nilufar Fowler, said.

Commenting on Cosmo Girl's performance, Duncan Edwards, the managing director of The National Magazine Company, said: "We've got to number three behind Sugar and Bliss by creating a slightly more sophisticated read for the teen girl. The teen market is having a tough time. My own personal theory is that Heat is getting a teen readership and Glamour is taking readers too. But Edwards maintained it was still a good sector to be in.

Emap's Bliss put in a disappointing set of results despite its redesign and relaunch, while the launch of CD:UK grew the teenage entertainment sector with minimal impact on the other titles.

VERDICT: The success of the celebrity weekly sector has undoubtedly hit the fortunes of the teen titles. However, new launches such as Cosmo Girl and Emap's Sneak demonstrate that publishers are confident of long-term growth in the sector.

TITLE              PUBLISHER        TOTAL ABC     PERIOD ON      YEAR ON
                                                   PERIOD %         YEAR
Sugar              Attic Futura       346,449         -10.1         -6.0
More               Emap               262,532          -0.1         -0.1
Bliss              Emap               250,370          -2.1         -1.9
Cosmo Girl         Nat Mags           175,237           n/a          n/a
Mizz               IPC                140,263          -3.2         -9.4
J-17               Emap               131,114         -27.3        -33.7
Top of the Pops    BBC                235,007          -4.2        -16.5
Smash Hits         Emap               190,177          -5.0         -4.3
TV Hits            Attic Futura       143,289          -5.3        -18.4
CD:UK              Attic Futura       138,122           n/a          n/a
19                 IPC                107,286          -9.1         -8.3
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (Jan-June 2002)


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