With the release of 2021 numbers by the ABC today, a clearer picture of the changes in magazine circulation caused by the pandemic began to emerge.
The actively purchased circulation of home, garden and children’s titles increased noticeably compared to 2020.
For example Immediate Media World of BBC Gardeners saw a 15% increase in average active circulation purchased to 248,507, while DC Thomson’s The Bano rose 24% to 53,731.
Immediate media titles accounted for the majority of the 15 biggest climbers in the top 100 actively purchased magazines (print and digital combined) in 2021 – inclusive Illustrated Gardens and Pokemon.
In contrast, Hearst UK bore the brunt of the most extreme proliferation cases in this category. Preferably, Red and The world of the runner were among the six Hearst titles in the top 15 falls, with all six losing between 12% and 20%.
A company spokesman noted that of the 14 Hearst titles covering ABC this time, six increased their circulation, 13 showed annual growth in digital spend and 10 showed annual growth in paid subscriptions.
Simon Horne, interim CEO of Hearst UK and President of Hearst Europe, said: “We are proud to surpass one million paying subscribers for the first time, after delivering strong year-on-year growth across our subscription touchpoints.”
Conde Nasts GQ saw the largest decline in actively purchased copies per issue between 2020 and 2021, down 23% to 40,582 copies.
GQ is one of Cond’s leading magazinese The recent change in Nast’s editorial approach, with some imprints falling to a new global editorial director, allowing content to be planned globally and adapted for local editions. The company has also pledged to invest 25% more money in digital and video content over the next four years.
British GQ also had a publisher change last November, with deputy global editor Adam Baidawi taking the reins.
The global approach has not hindered GQ stablemate Fashionwhich saw a 5% year-over-year increase in actively purchased copies per average issue to 115,669 copies.
Albert Read, Vice President Europe at Condé Nast, said: “Over the past year we have undergone a global transformation of our business and editorial operations, with a focus on investment in digital content and expansion, while print continues to grow. Total subscriptions are up 6%, UK traffic is up 4% and we’re breaking online records for our brands as they continue to define culture through content in the UK and internationally.”
conditione Nast also saw some benefit from the surge in interest in home ownership Home & Garden up 8% to 66,828 actively purchased copies.
Excluding the performance of individual magazines, Bauer Media (117 million) was the industry’s leading publisher in terms of total copies sold in 2021, ahead of Future (102 million).
Chris Duncan, Chief Executive of UK Publishing at Bauer Media, said they are “proud to be at the forefront of the industry” and added: “We are delighted with such strong results and the performance of subscription and digital editions across all Bauer titles.
“We continue to be the number one choice for audiences across many different categories, both monthly and weekly, for the mass market and for specialists.”
Bauer’s flagship TV choice sold the highest number of actively purchased copies per issue of any magazine at 1,016,951, down 2% year-over-year.