Reading between the lines: Generation Media discusses the latest ABC results

Towards the end of last week the bi annual ABC Consumer Magazines Report was released, including circulation figures for children’s, parenting and women’s interest magazines.

Following the general press market trend the majority of titles have seen declines, however there are winners: Primary boys’ category and Primary girls’ category both came out on top, reporting increases across the July to December 2017 period.

Children’s titles

Although the original Disney animation was released over four years ago, their press title Disney Frozen remains the largest title in the girls’ market. It may be testament to their second release Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, including many of the original cast, that the title remains so successful within the sector, averaging a circulation of over 61,000 in spite of a -10 per cent PoP decline.

The Primary boys’ sector also saw growth this period, in particular with Beano growing a surprising eight per cent year on year. On the other hand, the ABC results saw Toxic suffer particularly badly, falling -28 per cent PoP.

Toxic’s downfall can largely be attributed to LEGO publications continuing to dominate the boys’ market, with all four publications sitting within the top five. With the release of the Ninjago film this summer, it is no surprise to see a seven per cent increase in circulation year on year.

Although the largest sector in the children’s market, only four pre-school publications saw year on year increases throughout 2017, with the overall market resulting in a –7 per cent decline. CBeebies and Peppa Pig titles remain the dominant brands, accounting for a 36 per cent share of the pre-school market despite CBeebies Art delivering a double digit decline year on year.

Aside from Peppa Pig, 2017 saw PJ Masks follow other licensors including PAW Patrol and Thomas and Friends, into the pre-school market. The publication had a strong start to the year, circulating just shy of 40,000 copies and placing comfortably in eighth position.

Parenting titles

Opposing the children’s market, the parenting press market struggled throughout 2017 with most titles experiencing decline in their circulations, which was particularly driven by Mother & Baby (-33 per cent year on year) and now down to 11,000 circulation per issue. With more mums turning to Facebook for advice, it looks likely that this sector will return to their Halcyon days.

Women’s titles

Lastly, rival titles Hello and OK magazines continue to compete within the women’s category. However, while Hello would appear to be the clear winner with a three per cent year on year increase in circulation (223,703 January to June 2017 vs 226,128 July to December 2017), only 46 per cent of their publications were actively bought, compared with 93 per cent for OK.

Other women’s titles that battled through 2017 and came out on top include Take a Break Series (up 25 per cent year on year), Hello Fahion Monthly (up 19 per cent) and Harper’s Bazaar (up four per cent). Yet publications that saw the largest declines of 2017 included weekly publications such as Look (down 40 per cent), Woman (down 20 per cent) and New (down 18 per cent).

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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