The fiercely competitive young women’s sector has recorded healthy
rises for its top-selling titles, while the rest are continuing to
struggle in their wake.
Attic Futura now dominates the sector with its monthly title, Sugar,
which has revolutionised the market since its launch in 1994.
Sugar’s latest ABC figure for the period July-December 1996 hit 456,939,
up 44 per cent from 318,053 year on year. The magazine is now selling
nearly 100,000 more than its nearest rival, Bliss, published by Emap
Elan, and more than some established women’s monthlies.
Bliss climbed to 363,286 in the latest ABCs, an increase of 38.3 per
cent year on year and 12.8 per cent period on period.
However, other titles in the sector did not enjoy such success. Emap
Elan’s Just 17 slumped 29.7 per cent year on year and 19.9 per cent
period on period to 130,030 a week.
These results were pre-empted by the publisher’s announcement last week
that it was to take Just 17 monthly in the wake of tumbling sales.
Looks was down 19 per cent both period on period and year on year to
179,007, while More! held steady, climbing less than 1 per cent over the
IPC also struggled in the young women’s sector, with Mizz and 19 falling
by 25.6 per cent and 13.5 per cent year on year to 138,381 and 187,740,
Chris Boyd, managing director of IPC’s South Bank Group which publishes
Mizz and 19, said the company was looking seriously at the sector. ’We
don’t like our figures going down,’ he said.
At the last ABC results, Boyd hinted at some fresh activity and
speculation is mounting that a launch is possible later this year.
Buyers also believe that Minx, launched last September by Emap Elan, has
had some effect on the market, although the publisher declined to reveal
Steve Goodman, a director of the Media Business, said: ’These results
imply that Minx has stolen some circulation from more established
titles. People in this market are unlikely to have sufficient disposable
income to buy a supplementary magazine. They are more likely to
experiment with new titles.’
The resultant thinning out of the market could make buyers’ jobs harder,
as many of the titles have similar reader profiles.
In the pop TV teen market, BBC Magazines’ Top of the Pops jumped 142 per
cent year on year to 292,824. This puts it ahead of Emap Metro’s Smash
Hits which, after a bumpy period, rose 9.8 per cent year on year and
32.9 per cent period on period to hit 268,685.
YOUNG WOMEN’S WEEKLY MAGAZINES
Title Jul-Dec 95 Jul-Dec 96 % change
Mizz 185,878 138,381 -25.6
19 216,959 187,740 -13.5
Bliss 262,633 363,286 38.32
Just 17 185,081 130,030 -29.74
Looks 221,480 179,007 -19.18
More! 427,413 430,696 0.77
Sugar 318,053 456,939 43.67
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations