The Home Interest sector has always been an odd one; there are two contrasting sides to this group of magazines. Firstly your ‘dip in dip out’ sector, which includes people looking for inspiration and tips on style and decorating their houses in more of an ad hoc way (think Style At Home, Your Home, Beautiful Kitchens), versus the stylish ‘coffee table’ titles (such as World of Interiors and Elle Deco).
The Dip in/dip out magazines are usually slightly more volatile. Of course there is always a high base of loyal readers but there’s also always a group of people who will only buy two or three magazines a year when home style inspiration is most needed. The other, heavier subscriber based titles have clearly been more resilient to the generalised decline and have, broadly speaking, posted flatter results.
Hearst have generally posted some positive results this half with two flagship home interest titles, House Beautiful and Country Living, recording print increases, (+10.1% and +2.1% respectively). In fact when static seems to be the new increase these days, double digit print growth is very impressive.
The right mix of subscription drives, distribution and the marketing push as well as relevance in consumers’ lives contributes to its success. Unfortunately Living Etc couldn’t continue their positive run from January to June (combined +1.2% increase) and have this time posted a -2.6 % YoY decline.
Following a similar trend to other sectors, whilst print circulations dropped, digital editions which have been brought into the fold have increased (+6.05% YoY), demonstrating evidence that publishers have been endeavouring to diversify and push other channels in order to reach consumers and grow their business.
This is unsurprising, perhaps, as tablet penetration continues to increase as devices become more and more accessible to consumers. Added to this, in recent data releases we’ve seen the more specialised markets grow and it would seem that the Home Interest sector is no different. A plethora of titles, including 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes and Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Living Etc all posted dramatic increase in digital circulation – all of them were up over +20%.
The recent launch of Town and Country (it hit the shelves in summer 2014) shows publishers are still seeing opportunities in this market and are responding to an appetite from consumers/readers. It has also increased frequency and will publish four issues in 2015. It will be interesting to see if they post an ABC figure in the year to come and whether other publishers see this success as a green light to also grow their portfolio in the Home Interest market.
James Tyrell is investment director at Havas Media Group UK
|Title||Dec 2014 end||Prd-prd % change||Yr-yr % change|
|House and Garden||116,012||-0.9||-3.3|
|Homes and Gardens||115,397||-1.1||-5.6|
|The Christmas Magazine||113,442||-17.5|
|Style at Home||101,192||-5.9||3.4|
|25 Beautiful Homes||91,188||-6.6||-10.2|
|Ideal Homes Complete Guide to Xmas||89,898||6|
|Country Homes and Interiors||89,438||-3.6||-6.7|
|World Of Interiors||58,044||0||0.1|
|Homes and Antiques||54,156||-5.1|
|The English Home - North America Edition||39,171||-1.9|
Combined ABC print and digital figures