Pacific Magazines wins circ battle, MasterChef loses

By By David Blight and Alexandra Roach | 10 August 2012
Masterchef magazine.

Pacific Magazines has outperformed rivals ACP and NewsLifeMedia in magazine circulation for the three months to June, with a major spike from Game Informer but whopping drops for MasterChef and Zoo Weekly.

ABC Print Circulation figures for June quarter.

ABC Masthead figures for June quarter.

According to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the total market fell 5.7% year-on-year. Pacific Magazines was the clear victor, dropping just 2%, while ACP fell 7% in the same period and NewsLifeMedia fell 13%.

Pacific Magazines chief executive Nick Chan said: “We’re doing great mags. Although our year-on-year numbers are not as healthy as they ought to be, period-on-period they’re a lot more encouraging. It shows a flattening and even a growing market.”

The June reporting period marked the first time monthly magazines appeared in the Audit Bureau’s new Masthead metric, which measures print, digital and package sales. While no magazines from Pacific were submitted, Masthead sales were collected for titles from ACP, NewsLifeMedia, Odysseus and Just Magazines, among others.

ACP’s Australian Women’s Weekly, which had a higher print circulation than any other title, reported print sales of 465,477 and digital sales of 5,963, taking it to a total figure of 471,440.

Despite the continued downturn of the magazine sector, a number of categories saw growth in print sales including Computing, Games & Technology, Children’s and Buying & Selling.

Strong-performing magazines included Citrus Media’s Game Informer with 29.8% growth, ACP’s Belle with a 11.6% increase and Australian Sailing + Yachting, published by Yaffa Publishing (publisher of AdNews), with 19.4% growth.

The Men’s Lifestyle category has all but fallen off the chart with only three publications in this grouping, following closures of multiple titles including FHM. However, two of these magazines, Odysseus’ Australian Men’s Fitness and Pacific Magazines’ Men’s Health, saw growth. But ACP’s Zoo Weekly experienced one of the largest declines, dropping 22.9%.

The weakest category was Food & Entertainment, which dropped 12.1%. NewsLifeMedia’s MasterChef dropped 36.7%, but growth was seen by Pacific Magazines’ Family Circle.

Women’s Lifestyle also performed poorly, falling 7.9%. ACP’s Cleo and Cosmopolitan dropped 17.3% and 16%, respectively.

NOTE: In today's print edition of AdNews (page 3), we claimed ACP's OK! had seen a 6.4% circulation boost and ACP's Belle had seen a 17.4% increase. This was incorrect. OK! saw a circulation drop, while Belle's circulation increased 11.6%. We have amended the copy in the online story, and apologise for any inconvenience.

This article first appeared in the 10 August 2012 print edition of AdNews.

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