The Audit Bureau of Circulation figures are out, and it seems, as is typical these days for print, sales are declining all round.
A number of prominent magazines have seen rapid declines in the months leading to December 2015, with celeb and glossy publications taking the biggest hits.
Bauer Media’s Australian’s Women’s Weekly saw a drop of 7.3 per cent in average paid print sales for the six months to December 2015, while Woman’s Day suffered a dip just shy of 13 per cent in the same period.
“Magazines continue to be an incredibly important medium to engage with Australians,” Bauer Media Group executive board member Andreas Schoo said. But it seems every brand is looking more to digital in order to sustain their bottom line.
“The strength of our brands allows us to talk to more consumers more often through print, digital, social and live experience channels,” Schoo added. ““This is why we have invested heavily in our To Love digital network which adds another dimension to our leading consumer brands.”
In the glossy arena, Bauer’s Cosmopolitan and Dolly both suffered sharp plummets of 21.7 and 30.8 per cent, respectively, only a few weeks after Bauer confirmed it was putting more focus into its young women’s glossies and taking a ‘digital first’ approach with Dolly, taking the print mag to bi-monthly.
Dolly’s rival, Pacific Magazine’s Girlfriend, also took a hit, dropping 16.5 per cent in paid print sales for the six months to December 2015. The ABC figures show Girlfriend retains 35,686 in paid print sales, while Dolly recorded just 28,030.
But it was the celeb mags that took the biggest fall for Pac Mags, with Famous losing 25 per cent in average paid print sales in the three months to December 2015. The magazine downsized in sales from 60,122 to 45,096.
Pacific Magazines CEO Peter Zavecz said increasing digital influence is a priority for the brands.
“Our business model has impressive multi-platform reach, backed with data and digital clout,” he said. “During the next 12 months we will extend our brands into new platforms, increase our footprint, launch major new online plays and continue to develop attractive new revenue streams.”
Bauer’s OK! took the second biggest hit in the overall magazine game, dropping 20 per cent in the same quarterly period and NW dipping by 18 per cent.
But not all was lost in the world of print, with NewsLifeMedia reporting some wins. Taste.com.au Magazine jumped 0.2 per cent to paid print sales of over 77,000 in the half yearly period, while Vogue Australia also climbed 1.6 per cent to almost 52,000.
According to the ABC stats, the five magazine brands pulling the biggest rank are Pacific Magazine’s Better Homes & Gardens, Bauer Media’s Woman’s Day, Pacific Magazine’s New Idea, Bauer Media’s Australian Women’s Weekly and NewsLifeMedia’s Taste.com.au.
“Our unrelenting focus on the consumer and what they are reading, and how we can best service them to ensure our content is available wherever and whenever they want to consume it, is delivering extraordinary results,” NewsLifeMedia CEO Nicole Sheffield said.
But while these brands hold the largest paid print sales figures, only Taste saw an increase, with most titles experiencing noticeable downturns, an unsavoury sign for print magazines.