THE DIGITAL BUMP: Circulation figures for the first half at Condé Nast U.K. and Hearst Magazines U.K., reported Thursday, have been given a boost by the strong performance of digital editions.
Condé Nast reported that subscriptions of Vogue were up 2.1 percent year-over-year across the print and digital editions, with a new print circulation of 200,608, which is a drop of 2.8 percent period-on-period. GQ, with a combined circulation of 130,009, saw a 27.1 percent annual rise in sales of its digital edition. Tatler, the witty society title, saw an annual leap of 64 percent in its digital sales and a circulation of 86,178, which is down 2.9 percent year-over-year.
This story first appeared in the August 16, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Glamour’s combined circulation of 404,946 is down 14.4 percent; its monthly interactive digital replica edition launched during the period, and sales are increasing. Condé Nast Traveler’s actively purchased copies were up 1.2 percent, with a circulation of 80,139.
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At Hearst, sales of digital issues across the portfolio have grown 13 percent year-over-year, and there was double-digit growth at 10 out of 19 digital editions in the year. The publishing house’s biggest success stories were Elle Decoration and Women’s Health. Combined print and digital sales at the former were up 2.7 percent, with a print circulation of 71,028. Women’s Health, which launched in February last year, grew year-over-year to a combined circulation figure of 107,695.
Elle, with a combined circulation of 177,094, saw a drop-off in combined sales of 12 percent period-on-period, while Esquire’s combined sales dropped 13.9 percent period-on-period to a combined circulation of 58,137. Period-on-period, Red’s sales dropped 7 percent to a combined circulation of 205,908.
Justine Picardie’s first six months as editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar brought about a 1.8 percent increase period-on-period for actively purchased copies. Combined circulation for print and digital editions was up 0.9 percent. However, 35 percent of Bazaar’s U.K. newsstand sales came from multiple-bagging promotions, up from around 25 percent last year.
“Our sales show magazines continue to play an important role in the lives of our discerning readers, bucking the trend in several cases. Print remains encouragingly in demand, while research released earlier this week by Condé Nast shows that readers engage with magazines for similar amounts of time, irrespective of whether consumed in print or digital format,” said Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Condé Nast.
Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chief executive officer of Hearst Magazines U.K., said, “The latest combined ABC figures reflect the way our consumers are interacting with our brands across social, digital and print.” De Puyfontaine added that Hearst has a number of launches planned in the U.K., including a new product for Esquire. He did not provide details.