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ABCs: FHM loses 50% of circulation in one of biggest magazine sales drops in media history

fhm_coverFHM magazine – once one of the most dominant brands in the dynamic men’s magazines sector – has suffered one of the biggest circulation drops in Australian media history.

The ACP magazine lost half of its circulation in the final six months of last year compared to the same period a year before. Its circulation dropped from 50,154 to just 26,026 according to new figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

In its analysis around the latest set of figures, ACP did not mention FHM at all. A spokesman told Mumbrella there were no changes planned for FHM closing “for the foreseeable future”. The drop for as significant a brand as FHM is virtually unprecedented.

In a statement, Matthew Stanton, the newly appointed CEO of ACP Magazines after the sudden departure of Phil Scott, claimed: “While all publishers are bearing the brunt of subdued consumer spending, many ACP mastheads have gained circulation and/or category share in the latest audit.”

In a further blow to ACP, its new title UFC Australia debuted with a circulation of just 25,021 – just half of what it had promised to the market.

Stanton’s statement added: “ACP is progressively offering new ways for readers to engage with our magazine brands.  We currently offer 36 digital editions of ACP magazines, and the growing number of people interacting with our mastheads on those applications and platforms is not yet reflected in circulation figures.

“Our digital distribution strategy will allow our readers to access our content when and where it suits them, enhancing their engagement and enjoyment of our magazines, attracting new readers and strengthening the brands themselves.”

After FHM, the next biggest fall was for Masterchef Magazine which dropped by a third although the NewsLifeMedia title’s fortunes are dependent on the period when the Ten TV show is on air.

However an indication that the food sector may be under pressure came from fellow News Life Media title Superfood Ideas which dropped 21%.

Other big brands suffering dramatic falls included Readers Digest, down 20%.

Pacific Magazines’ healthy living title Prevention was down by nearly 17%, as was ACP’s Cosmopolitan.

Biggest monthly falls:

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There were a handful of winners among the monthly magazine circulations. The relatively low profile Game Informer, from Citrus Media, had the biggest growth. Morrison Media’s Frankie also continued to grow, up 14%.

NewsLifeMedia’s Donna Hay was up 13% to 103,000, while the best performer in the ACP stable was Good Health & medicine, up 10%. Australian Home Beautiful, up 5% was PacMags’ best performer.

The five fastest growing magazines were all owned by independent publishers.

Monthly titles that grew:

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