Consumer ABCs: Industry analysis


The latest ABC release for the July - December 2015 period charts all the trends for the consumer magazine market. Here, Mark Jones reacts to the latest figures.

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Mark Jones, account director, Amplifi @ Carat

I moved house in January last year. I mention this because looking at the 415 publications on the latest ABC data report reminded of the day last year when Mrs Jones asked if I would bring home copies of the home interest titles to provide decorating inspiration. Which ones do you want I asked; all of them she replied.

Struggling home with 9.3 kg of paper, it was impossible not to conclude that there were a lot of titles doing very similar things. Fast-forward one year and there are 24 home interest titles in the latest ABC release with 415 publications in total posting over 1,000 entries; arguably the level of competition has never been this fierce.

This ABC period we will once again dissect individual circulation increases and decreases, and in doing so the declines will dominate the narrative. But in such a crowded marketplace it is inevitable that titles will struggle, and on ABC release day this often obscures why magazines are an important medium; their unrivalled trust and attention amongst many other well documented reasons. Glamour magazine losing 5% of their circulation is newsworthy, but it does not make their 346,000 readers any less receptive to advertising.

The sheer number of titles in each magazine sector ensures greater choice and lower prices for consumers, agencies and advertisers alike. But there is a danger, heightened on ABC release day, that it can give the impression of a fragmented, disparate marketplace.

The ABC figures underpin the magazine industry and are of fundamental importance but I hope today that publishers can look beyond their competition to focus on building their own strong brands, and that agencies and advertisers can look beyond the headlines to remember that no result in the data released detracts at all from the reasons why magazines are great advertising vehicles.


The full article appeared on MediaTel: Newsline on 15/02/16


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