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Most music titles slip in latest ABCs

By | Published on Friday 15 February 2013


If you work in the traditional music media, it’s probably worth remembering that favourite mantra of the marketing profession – “less is more” – whenever the ABC circulation figures are published. The quantity of your print magazine’s readers might be less, but surely it’s the quality of reader that matters?

Feel better now? Good. And let’s just hope to fuck the increasingly mooted ‘app-mag’ business model really does combine the audiences of online with the traditional revenue potential of print, like some analysts reckon it might, and then we can all get on with our lives interviewing tedious new indie bands and questioning half-dressed boy bands about their perfect girlfriends without having to worry about the next round of inevitable job cuts.

Of course when each set of ABC print circulation figures for the music mags are released these days – the latest set being unleashed yesterday – the publishers of said magazines stress that their music media brands are now reaching consumers via online, and often TV and radio, as well as in print, so overall their titles are reaching bigger audiences now than they ever did. And in the main said publishers are right to say that – despite the declines in the ABC round up below, many of the traditional music media are now talking to bigger audiences when all channels are taken into account.

Commercially, though, the challenge remains whether or not those other channels are profitable in the way print mags used to be. Some are now starting to generate decent online sales and sponsorship revenues, others are hoping that some kind of subscription model could still work, most likely by providing content through a tablet-based app.

Anyway, enough of that, here’s a helping of the latest ABC stats, average sales per issue plus declines (or occasional increases – well done RWD, We Love Pop and Uncut) since a year ago.

Classic Rock: 56,714 – down 9% year-on-year
The Fly: 98,593 – down 2% year-on-year
Kerrang: 38,556 – down 8.4% year-on-year
Metal Hammer: 30,029 – down 14.8% year-on-year
Mojo: 83,676 – down 4.4% year-on-year
NME: 23,049 – down 16.6% year-on-year
Q: 61,485 – down 20.7% year-on-year
RWD: 98,303 – up 2.1% year-on-year
Top Of The Pops: 73,295 – down 13.5% year-on-year
Uncut: 63,003 – up 0.1% year-on-year
We Love Pop: 48,011 – up 0.8% year-on-year