MAGAZINE ABCs: Company plummets as IPC's Essentials continues to grow

Hearst magazines' latest ABC results, before the group merged Natmag and Hachette Filipacchi, show there remain challenges ahead, with former Natmag title Company posting the biggest drop in the women's lifestyle sector, falling 17.1% year on year.

Company: Hearst title tumbles in the women's lifestyle sector
Company: Hearst title tumbles in the women's lifestyle sector

Company, the fashion, advice and celebrity gossip title, had an average circulation of 180,162 for Jan to Jun this year, marking a 17.2% drop period on period.

Hearst's Psychologies magazine, formerly a Hachette Filipacchi title, also posted a circulation drop of 9.6% period on period and 8.7% year on year.

Fashion title Cosmopolitan, whose sister magazine Cosmo Bride was closed as part of the Hearst UK merger, also plummeted 3.4% period on period and 3.7% year on year. The drop marks the first time Cosmopolitan has dropped below the 400,000 mark, pulling in a circulation of 386,852.

But Hachette Filipacchi titles Red, Elle, and NatMag’s Harpers Bazaar maintained their positions overall, posting small increases year-on-year.

Sharon Douglas, circulation and marketing director for Hearst UK, said: "Company has been a challenge for us it’s fair to say. We have reduced our retail marketing of it and put more resources into its editorial.

"But Harpers Bazaar was absolutely wonderful for us and had its 11th consecutive increase year-on-year."

Following on from the closure of NatMag’s She magazine, Douglas said that Hearst was continually revising its portfolio, but was not looking to close any further titles at the moment.

Tess Mcleod-Smith, publishing director of Harpers Bazaar, said that a bumper fashion issue in March coupled with Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer gracing the title’s cover had helped to boost its circulation 0.2% year-on-year.

Mcleod-Smith said that the luxury sector of women’s magazines would continue to grow, and claimed that advertising revenue for this year’s September and October issues was up significantly.

But elsewhere in the women's lifestyle sector, Essentials magazine is once again the fastest growing magazine, posting a 9.9% year-on-year circulation increase.

The IPC monthly claimed an average distribution of 126,904 for the Jan to Jun 2011 period, a 0.4% increase period on period.

Meanwhile Conde Nast's ever-popular weekly magazine Glamour ramains the biggest women's lifestyle title, with an average circulation of 530,060, up 5.9% period on period and 0.7% yoy.

Simon Kippin, publisher of Glamour, said the fact Glamour had not changed its product or offered more gifts to boost its figures was testament to its editorial strength.

He said: "We have got the biggest gap between us and Cosmopolitan ever and are clearly right on top.

"I would be the last person to offer advice to Hearst, but I think that middle market in terms of the glossy young people’s magazines is really squeezing Company out. I think it’s part of a long decline. But overall it wasn’t a particularly buoyant period."

Fashion titles Vogue and Vanity Fair dropped slightly period on period, posting 0.2% and 1.9% falls respectively.

Free women's weekly Stylist boasted a 1.2% year-on-year and 0.5% period-on-period rise, with an average circulation figure of 426,396, the third consecutive rise since the title's launch in October 2009.

Mike Soutar, chief executive of ShortList Media, the publisher of Stylist, said: "No longer just an innovative launch, Stylist is a fully-formed, market-transforming phenomenon. We have exciting plans to continue to grow its scale and influence."

European Magazines Ltd's Marie Claire posted the second highest drop year on year behind Company, at 10.4%.

Top 23 women's lifestyle magazines
Title Publisher Jan - Jul Prd/prd Yr/yr
    2011 change change
Glamour Conde Nast Publications  530,060 5.9% 0.7%
Good Housekeeping Hearst Magazines  430,878 -2.9% 2.0%
Stylist Shortlist Media  426,396 0.5% 1.2%
Cosmopolitan Hearst Magazines  386,852 -3.4% -3.7%
Woman & Home IPC Media  370,284 -4.0% 0.3%
Look IPC Media
300,161 -3.6% -4.2%
Yours Bauer Consumer Media  285,890 -2.4% -3.8%
Prima Hearst Magazines  280,207 4.4% -3.1%
Marie Claire European Magazines  250,785 -5.4% -10.4%
Candis Newhall Publications  236,075 -4.8% -7.2%
Red Hearst Magazines  231,160 0.1% 0.5%
Grazia Bauer Consumer Media  219,741 -2.1% -3.9%
Vogue Conde Nast Publications  210,766 -0.2% 0.1%
Elle (U.K.) Hearst Magazines  197,136 -1.7% 0.8%
Company Hearst Magazines  180,162 -17.2% -17.1%
Instyle (UK) IPC Media  175,113 -3.0% -6.0%
More! Bauer Consumer Media  170,033 -9.7% -9.2%
Easy Living Conde Nast Publications  158,038 -1.3% -7.1%
Essentials IPC Media  126,904 0.4% 9.9%
Harpers Bazaar Hearst Magazines  118,740 -0.8% 0.2%
Psychologies Hearst Magazines  108,631 -9.6% -8.7%
Vanity Fair Conde Nast Publications  100,560 -1.9% -1.8%
Tatler Conde Nast Publications  87,616 0.4% 1.4%
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