Total music sales also grew year on year as the market leader, Q, added to its circulation following a redesign.
Emap's decision to make the title more accessible has paid off, but there is also a feeling that the magazine and other monthly titles - IPC's Uncut and Emap's Mojo - are riding on the back of a resurgent British music scene.
Marcus Rich, the managing director of Emap Performance, says: "People are really interested in music and it's a very encouraging time for British music after a good Brits, and with Joss Stone and Franz Ferdinand likely to do well in the US."
But the weeklies did less well. NME lost 3.5 per cent and Kerrang! suffered a 10 per cent decline in its circulation across 2004. Rich said it would bounce back in 2005 on the back of big rock releases from the likes of Green Day and the Foo Fighters.
In film, Empire continued its impressive growth as cinema and DVD sales prospered. However, this was at the expense of Future's Total Film.
Verdict - Further growth in monthly rock titles is expected and a resurgence in "harder" rock could lead to a better year for magazines such as Kerrang!.
FILM AND MUSIC
TITLE Publisher Total ABC Period-on- Year-on-
% change % change
Empire Emap 205,587 5.2 7.8
Q Emap 162,574 7.8 0.6
Uncut IPC 114,034 1.1 2.6
Mojo Emap 111,815 11.4 7.1
Total Film Future 82,810 -8.7 -8.6
New Musical Express IPC 70,017 0.0 -3.5
Kerrang! Emap 61,844 -1.2 -10.7
BBC Music Magazine BBC 56,096 n/a -8.1