The Top 100 Magazines: Computing

Year-on-year sales of console magazines dropped again in a category that has been struggling for some time. However, the period-on-period figures show a different story as most of the major titles recorded either increased sales or only minor losses.

Official PlayStation 2 recorded a period-on-period decline of 0.9 per cent compared with a year-on-year drop of 23.5 per cent. Similarly, Xbox World 360 saw an increased circulation of 3.1 per cent after a 21.2 per cent decline year on year.

These figures are likely to be the result of a disproportionately large amount of activity from console manufacturers in the second half of 2005.

In the PC market, where most of the magazines only post annual results, the overall performance shows a year-on-year circulation fall of 15 per cent.

Computeractive remains the market-leading title despite a drop of 1.3 per cent to 233, 060 copies.

Verdict The product launches into the console market have had a massive effect on sales. However, there is a good chance that, unless Sony puts out its long-awaited PlayStation 3 console, these sales will start to drop towards the middle of next year.

COMPUTING TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period-on Year-on -period -year % change % change Computeractive VNU Media 233,060 n/a -1.3 Official PlayStation 2 Future 132,069 -0.9 -23.5 PC Pro Dennis 102,010 n/a -5.5 Computer Shopper Dennis 93,430 n/a -13.5 Personal Computer World Dennis 76,020 -18.3 -18.3 Official UK Xbox magazine Future 64,403 -24.3 -26.9 Games Master Future 55,520 -0.2 -10.7 PC Gamer Future 48,699 0.8 -14.6 PlayStation World Future 43,708 -13.7 -37.6 Microsoft Windows XP Future 42,554 n/a -27.2 Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations, July-December 2005.