Women's magazine circulations -- Falling like nine pins

OK!'s sales slide by 23%

By Mark Sweney/Guardian

Richard Desmond's stable of celebrity magazines suffered a circulation
slide in the second half of 2010, with a year-on-year fall of more
than 20% for OK! in a women's weekly market peppered with double-digit
annual sales falls.

Only two women's weekly titles showed year-on-year circulation gains.
National Magazine Company's Real People was up 1% to 218,276 year on
year, but down by 3.1% period on period. The Lady managed a 4.9%
year-on-year rise to 30,201, but fell 1.8% period on period, according
to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures published today.

OK!, the fourth biggest title in the women's weeklies sector,
continues to suffer a circulation slide with sales down 23.4% compared
with the second half of 2009, the biggest fall in the sector. The
title, which recorded a similar year-on-year drop in the last ABC
figures, saw circulation fall by 5.8% compared with the first half of
2010 to 450,946. A substantial number – 367,936 – of OK!'s sales were
not at full rate.

Northern & Shell stablemates New! and Star, which each saw massive
circulation gains in the last ABC period, slipped back with
year-on-year sales falls of 6.4% and 12.5%, respectively. New!, the
second biggest title in the sector, fell by just 2.7% period on period
to 562,284. Star, the fifth largest title, dropped 2.4% period on
period to 430,324.

Both magazines have previously benefited from the tactic of
multipacking, where they are bundled together with another Northern &
Shell title. New!'s full-rate sale in the UK and Ireland was 322,052,
while Star's was 190,356.

H Bauer's Take A Break once again led the women's weeklies sector.
Take A Break's average sale of 833,522 was down 7.4% year on year and
2.6% on the first half of 2010. Bauer Media's Closer took third place,
with 498,683, down 7.5% year on year and 5.3% period on period.

The continued decline of Bauer's Heat – which reported circulation of
370,132, down 11.3% period on period and 19.3% year on year – saw the
title drop another place to eighth as Hello! magazine climbed a
position after showing relative resilience. Hello! shed 0.8%
circulation year on year and 1.6% period on period to 405,608.

IPC's Chat ranked sixth with 415,040 sales, down 3.6% period on period
and 5.7% year on year. IPC had a clutch of positive performers, with
ninth-ranked Woman's Weekly up 1.6% – one of only four titles to show
period-on-period increases – to 344,068, a year-on-year drop of 0.1%.

Stablemate Now, which is the 10th best-selling title in the sector,
increased its circulation by 0.1% period on period to 338,328 –
although the title fell 14.2% year on year. Further down the rankings,
IPC's Woman's Own managed the biggest period-on-period rise, some
7.1%, to 291,700. The title fell 2.3% year on year.

Hubert Media's Love It!, which in the last ABCs reported the biggest
year-on-year fall of any title, was the only other women's weekly to
record a period-on-period rise up 4.6% to 242,315. However on a
year-on-year basis the title was one of the larger fallers, and was
down by 14.5%.

Elsewhere in the sector there were double-digit year-on-year declines
for H Bauer's That's Life, down 11.3% to 335,772; IPC's Pick Me Up,
down 13% to 287,029; and DC Thomson's My Weekly, down 10.7% to


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