Weekly mags continue to struggle, but there’s life in lifestyle according to latest numbers

Weekly magazines continue to slip in readership and circulation but there's signs of life for lifestyle and niche magazines, according to the latest readership and circulation results from Nielsen and the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).

  • Check out the Nielsen readership toplines here and the ABC numbers here.

While the magazine industry was fairly chipper about a $1 million increase in ad revenue in 2012 to reach about nine percent of the total (in comparison magazines make up about four percent of the total in Australia), all ten weekly magazines in the category suffered from a decline in readership between March 2012 and March 2013.

Hardest hit is New Idea, which dropped 81,000 readers. It's circulation is now 41,715. 

The Listener dropped almost 50,000 readers but held firm on circulation. However, the APN magazine has been working diligently over the past year to increase its presence online, which includes the introduction of a digital subscription.

Things have also tightened up at the top again in terms of readership. Both Woman's Day and NZ Woman's Weekly broke the 800,000 mark again, but the APN title has came back and is only 2,000 behind the Bauer title. In saying that Woman's Day sells almost 40,000 more copies a week. 

Weekly: Readership / Circulation

Woman's Day: 807,000 / 104,108

TV Guide:   517,000 / 125,640

NZ Woman's Weekly:  805,000 / 67,421

New Idea:  411,000 / 41,715

NZ Listener:  251,000 / 59,089

Once again the longer lead fared better than their weekly counterparts when compared to last year. The six statistically significant increases in readership came from the monthly and bi-monthly publications. The largest readership gains were by home and lifestyle magazines Good (up 56 percent to 53,000) and Home New Zealand (up 52 percent to 78,000). Kia Ora, Creme, NZ Autocar, Mindfood and Simply You Living also fared well in readership. 

The biggest losses were for Next, which dropped almost 100,000 readers, Food and SkyWatch, which both dropped around 90,000, and AA Directions, which dropped around 80,000 readers, 

Monthly and Bi-Monthly: Readership / Circulation

Australian Women's Weekly: 740,000 / 75,704

Healthy Food Guide: 399,000 / 44,685

Mindfood: 195,000  / 35,737

Metro: 160,000 / 10,771

NZ Autocar:  203,000 / 8,620

Good: 53,000 / 12,182

NZ Life & Leisure 153,000 / 31,907

Note: circulation is a measure of a publication's sales and deliveries, as measured by the ABC; readership is a measure of possible readers, from the result of surveys conducted by Nielsen. These two reports are independent of each other.

Bauer's release:

"No other media company understands women and their passions better than Bauer Media. Bauer reaches more women than any other magazine publisher and nine in every 10 women who have read a magazine in the past 12 months have chosen a Bauer brand. In fact Bauer titles have more female readers than there are women wine drinkers in New Zealand! This significant reach is anchored by two powerhouse brands, Woman’s Day and The Australian Women’s Weekly. Woman’s Day is the country’s most read newsstand magazine with 807,000 weekly readers and an average paid circulation that is 62.2 per cent higher than its nearest competitor. The Australian Women’s Weekly is the most read and sold monthly newsstand magazine with 740,000 loyal readers.

Bauer magazines are setting new records in delivering a market of influence and affluence. In the past year, reach against New Zealanders earning personal incomes of $100,000+ is up 19.6 per cent. This is translating into stellar success stories for Bauer Media’s premium portfolio.

North & South now leads the current affairs category, well ahead of the NZ Listener, with an increased readership to 274,000. Audited circulation is up 8.2 per cent year on year at 28,156, and sales in supermarkets over the same period have skyrocketed by 26.5 per cent, an enviable statistic for any FMCG brand. Similarly Metro has bucked the category with circulation growth of 4.5 per cent in the past year and readership is up to 160,000, an increase of 6,000 since the previous release, equivalent to adding the population of Ponsonby. To complete the success trilogy, KiaOra magazine has recorded its highest-ever readership of 327,000 high flyers, up 13.5 per cent year on year. KiaOra offers advertisers the most discerning audience of any magazine brand in the country with an average household income 63.1 per cent higher than the New Zealand average.

“Looking at the latest results it appears consumers are abandoning newspapers in favour of the quality journalism in Bauer Media’s premium and current affairs portfolio. Despite a significant price premium, New Zealanders are actively seeking out and immersing themselves in our brands in the pursuit of quality journalism,” says CEO Paul Dykzeul.

Backing up these extraordinary results in the premium portfolio is HOME New Zealand’s haul of accolades, including Best Magazine Design at the Canon Media Awards. Readership is up a massive 52.9 per cent on last year, the second-highest percentage increase of any New Zealand magazine, and both audited circulation and supermarket sales show strong increases. Fashion Quarterly, with nearly two-and-a-half times the readership of its nearest competitor, posted a readership increase of 7.4 per cent to nearly a quarter of a million fashionistas. As often happens with a significant masthead change and a premium repositioning, NEXT magazine has seen an initial fall in readership predominantly among tertiary and lower socio readers. The latest readership of 275,000, down 4.5 per cent on the previous release, points to a more affluent and targeted reader profile.

Another recording-breaking result sees Your Home and Garden’s readership reach an all-time high of 336,000 up 7.7 per cent. In the past year, audited circulation increased and supermarket sales growth even kept pace with Auckland’s soaring house prices at +11.3 per cent.

“We’ve outperformed the market in terms of both readership and circulation and what’s more new metrics confirm that magazines are offering a level of connection and engagement that is directly impacting on advertising effectiveness. Simply put, Bauer brands reach, inspire and influence the right audiences,” says CEO Paul Dykzeul. 

NZ Magazines' release: 

Our magazine portfolio connects with 1.4 million New Zealanders, and our weekly titles deliver close to 1.3 million New Zealanders each week. The New Zealand Woman's Weekly continues to be one of the best read print media in the country, connecting with 805,000 people each week. 

Youth titles Creme and Girlfriend both increased on the previous release, collectively reaching 243,000 readers each month, including 55% of all girls 10-17yrs. Creme has increased by 6,000 readers to 180,000, and Girlfriend has gained 3,000 to reach 181,000. 

Lifestyle titles Simply You and Simply You Living have both experienced strong readership gains. Simply You has increased 11%, taking it to 104,000 readers, while Simply You Living is up 16%, to reach 80,000. 

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