A continuation of trends in latest magazine readership and circulation figures

The quarterly magazine readership and circulation figures have been released by Nielsen and the Audit Bureau of Circulation respectively, and, in what has been a consistent trend over the last few quarters, weekly publications continue to bleed readers while special interest magazines, released less frequently, continue to hold strong.

As was the case in the previous survey, each of the magazines included in the weeklies section suffered dips in both readership and circulation, with NZ Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Day suffering the most significant dips. And while the figures weren’t strong for any of the magazines surveyed, Lucky Break and NW Magazine both held reasonably strong. The same cannot however be said for the NZ Listener, which underwent a year-on-year loss of 37,000 readers.

The only magazine surveyed in the the bi-weekly section was the Weekend Gardener, which dipped from 155,000 readers at the same time last year to 131,000 in the latest figures (there were no circulation figures available for the publication.

The bad news continued for the monthlies, but there were a few exceptions that bucked the trend. Of the magazines that had comparative data available, only five showed any readership growth: Farm Trader, which went from 82,000 to 101,000 readers; MindFood, which  rose from 193,000 to 228,000; Good Health Choices, which climbed from 170,000 to 176,000; culinary magazine Taste, which went from 183,000 to 190,000; and Wild Tomato, which rose slightly from 33,000 to 34,000.

The women’s titles once again took big hits, with Australian Women’s Weekly, Cleo and Cosmopolitan all suffering marked dips. And given that Creme shed 38,000 readers over the course of the last year, it comes as little surprise that Bauer recently decided to can the magazine, which it acquired from APN in a package deal last year.

Interestingly, the publishing industry has decided not to send out official statements addressing the results for this quarter. A spokesperson from Bauer explained that the media conglomerate is currently working on a series of insights on the marketplace. 

“Like other publishers, Bauer Media are not doing press releases on every readership and circulation release,” said the spokesperson. “We’d rather focus our research resources on generating deep insights into our brands’ influence and audience engagement, which is on the increase …. We’ll be out in the marketplace shortly with a presentation based on our segmentation study and a thought-leadership New Zealand trends piece … Feedback from the marketplace is that this has much more relevance especially when the readership and circulation results are widely available anyway.”

The bi-monthly magazine titles were once again a reasonably stable category, which only saw significant dips for Cuisine (420,000 to 380,000), Food (293,000 to 232,000), NZ Fishing World (153,000 to 133,000) and NZ Life & Leisure (146,000 to 117,000). And in three of these cases, the circulation figures followed readership on a downward trajectory. The only exception was NZ Life & Leisure, which saw a small year-on-year rise in circulation as it went from 32,273 magazines to 32,451.  

On the positive end of the spectrum, Dish, Good and Home New Zealand climbed slightly, while Urbis, Homestyle and Fish & Game NZ suffered only slight dips in readership.

While special interest titles have performed recently well in the latest figures from ABC and Nielsen, Little Treasures did not follow this trend. The publication’s readership dropped by 39,000 and its circulation followed suit by dipping year on year from 20,193 to 12,958.  

The quarterly magazines were also one of the more stable categories, and the results came with good news for New Zealand Weddings, Oh Baby! and Hunting & Fishing NZ, with each publication enjoying a year-on-year lift in readership.

The same can however not be said for AA Directions, Family Care, NZ Fashion Quarterly and The Word for Today, which each suffered dips in readership.  

The six-monthly publications category only held good news for Resene’s content marketing magazine Habitat, which enjoyed year-on-year climbs in both readership and circulation. The same cannot be said for the two Simply You titles, which both suffered significant dips.   

  • A story on the newspaper figures will follow on Monday.

*Correction: in readership section of graphs ‘Q3 2014’ refers to the period from ‘Q3 2013 to Q2 2014’ and ‘Q3 2013’ refers to the period running from  ‘Q3 2013 to Q2 2014’.          

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