As a sector, the print editions of women’s lifestyle and fashion magazines had a tough time in the six months to December, according to the U.K.’s Audit Bureau of Circulations’ figures released Thursday. The sector as a whole posted a 6.6 percent dip compared to the same period last year, while the men’s lifestyle sector also fell, by 3 percent. Despite the declines, the two sectors were the second and fifth best performing magazine sectors in the U.K. respectively.
Most print titles posted circulation falls compared to the same period last year. At Conde Nast, Glamour fell 3.2 percent to 410,480 year-on-year — though it rose 2.5 percent compared to the previous six months — while Vogue was down 5.2 percent year-on-year to 192,763, Vanity Fair fell 16.8 percent to 81,344 and Tatler fell 6.7 percent to 81,267. At Hearst, Elle dipped 14.2 percent year-on-year to 166,680, while Harper’s Bazaar was down 3.8 percent to 107,150, InStyle fell 12.8 percent to 144,628 and Red was down 8.2 percent to 199,841.
However, a new figure published by ABC that combined print and digital sales showed that a number of those titles are notching up digital readers. Vogue’s combined print and digital circulation stood at 201,077, with a 9.4 percent rise in its digital sales compared to the six months ending June 2013. Vanity Fair’s digital sales rose 4.4 percent compared to the previous six months, to achieve a combined figure of 90,018, while Glamour’s were also up 4.4 percent, giving the title a combined circulation figure of 415,258. Nicholas Coleridge, president of Conde Nast International and managing director of Conde Nast Britain, pointed to Glamour’s “surge in sales…in the past six months,” along with the “progress” the firm’s digital editions are making.
At Hearst, Red saw a 2 percent rise in its digital sales compared to the previous six months, posting a combined circulation figure of 203,354, while Good Housekeeping’s digital sales rose 5.4 percent compared to the same period last year — but dipped 22 percent period-on-period — giving a combined circulation of 414,542. In terms of print, Good Housekeeping rose to achieve the highest circulation of paid-for magazines in the women’s lifestyle sector, overtaking Glamour with a print circulation figure of 410,981. Harper’s Bazaar’s digital sales fell 29 percent over the year, giving the title a combined figure of 111,071, while Elle’s were down 23.6 percent over the year, to give a combined figure of 172,079.
Anna Jones, chief operating officer of Hearst Magazines U.K., singled out Good Housekeeping’s “fantastic performance…which is testament to the strength of the brand.”