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ABCs: Elle outstrips Vogue in first audit as Cleo and Dolly see double digit decline

Elle coverElle Australia has overtaken Vogue in the monthly magazine market as high fashion magazines stabilised while titles such as Cleo and Dolly saw more dramatic declines.

The Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for the six months to December 2013 saw Elle’s circulation figure at 61,010 copies since Bauer Media launched it in September, proving more popular than Vogue Australia despite Vogue’s circulation dropping just 2.3 per cent from 51,291 to 50,129.

High fashion glossies proved more stable than others, with Harpers Bazaar growing in circulation by 0.4 per cent, and many of its competitors hovering just above or below the line.

Bauer has also moved to merge the teams for titles Cleo and Dolly, but both suffered big drops again as Cleo’s circulation fell 17.4 per cent to 66,325, and Dolly, which was relaunched this month with a new look, dropped by 22.3 per cent to 70,083.

Cosmopolitan, another publication from Bauer aimed at women 18-34, also dropped 14 per cent in sales to 90,450.

Media analyst Steve Allen, of Fusion Strategy, said these titles were more vulnerable than others.

“I never thought I would see a number like that but the kind of editorial that Cleo has is freely available online, largely, so it’s under more attack than others,” he said.

There were even steeper declines for the younger demographic as Girl Power, published by Next Media for a “tween” audience of 7-13 year olds, dropped 24.8 per cent on last year and Pacific Magazines’ Girlfriend, aimed at girls 12-17, dropped 23.3 per cent.

Women's FitnessHowever there was success for Bauer’s Women’s Fitness, which saw a 21.4 per cent rise in circulation from 50,372 to 61,143 in the latest audit period. The title launched in September 2012 is edited by Rachel Sharp, and its deputy editor, Lucy Cousins, moved to Cleo and Dolly when Bauer merged the publications, and former Cleo editor Sharri Markson and Dolly editor Tiffany Dunk departed.

There was more good news for Bauer’s Real Living magazine, winner of the overall excellence award from Publishers Australia in November which enjoyed an 8.1 per cent growth spurt to 81,103 copies. Women’s Fitness also won a Publishers Australia award for launch of the year for a circulation over 20k.

And Family Circle, published by Pacific Magazines, was up 26.4 per cent in circulation from 84,358 to 106,600 in the six months to December.

There was also a good turnaround story for Super Food Ideas, published by News Life Media, as circulation grew by 4.2 per cent, after a series of declines in previous audits, Allen said.

“There are some pleasant surprises, and about a dozen magazines have grown,” he told Mumbrella.

“Some of those keep turning up in the growth list. Frankie has been there two or three years, Real Living is generally in that top list and recovering, and that’s partly because it’s been closely associated with The Block and now there are two series around they get a bit of a lift and that’s their marketing, and good luck to them.

“From the day that magazine was launched it knew exactly what it’s purpose in the market was and it’s pursued it and it’s generally gone in one direction, upwards.”

However, on the whole, Allen said it has not been a good audit for magazines.

“Even when you allow for the ins and outs, and you make adjustments, which do make a meaningful difference, the losses have accelerated in this half year and some of the losses are very large, in the high teens or early 20s.

“So the magazine industry hasn’t yet stemmed consumers resistance to paying the cover price. Hopefully that will happen soon, but with headline loses of over 11 per cent, and adjusted losses over five and half per cent, its still quite a serious loss, it’s not as bad as it has been but it’s still quite a serious loss.”

Readers Digest, which had seen falling circulation in previous audits, has pulled out of the audit and was absent in the latest circulation figures.

Matthew Stanton, CEO of Bauer Media, said: “The latest ABC audit and Emma readership survey show a resilient Australian magazine market with growth in several key segments. We’re encouraged to see total magazine readership grow by one per cent since the September survey, as magazines continue to be the best medium for engaging with women.”

Tech Life magazine which was bought by Future Publishing from Bauer in August suffered the heaviest loss losing 45 per cent of its circulation and dropping to 14,898, whilst Fairfax’s AFR Smart Investor dropped 30 per cent to 35,045 from 50,105 in the corresponding audit.

Monthly magazine circulation, biggest monthly falls:

Non-weeekly magazines, greatest fall to smallest fall:
Title July-Dec’13 July-Dec ’12 Change YOY
TECH LIFE 14,894 27,219 -45.30%
AFR SMART INVESTOR 35,045 50,105 -30.10%
GIRL POWER 14,923 19,839 -24.80%
GIRLFRIEND 55,012 71,686 -23.30%
GAME INFORMER 40,926 52,816 -22.50%
DOLLY 70,083 90,175 -22.30%
JUST BIKES 21,556 26,875 -19.80%
LITTLE ANGEL 17,282 21,136 -18.20%
JUST 4X4’S 9,775 11,847 -17.50%
CLEO 66,325 80,321 -17.40%
PC & TECH AUTHORITY 13,843 16,633 -16.80%
TOP GEAR 50,229 60,007 -16.30%
TOTAL GIRL 41,291 49,222 -16.10%
MANIA 14,765 17,307 -14.70%
UNIQUE CARS 41,707 48,782 -14.50%
COSMOPOLITAN 90,450 105,212 -14.00%
AUSTRALIAN MOTORCYCLE NEWS 16,366 19,017 -13.90%
AUSTRALIAN MOTORCYCLE TRADER 17,261 20,011 -13.70%
THE BIG ISSUE 29,026 33,475 -13.30%
DEALS ON WHEELS 18,071 20,814 -13.20%
BIG LEAGUE 10,241 11,642 -12.00%
DELICIOUS 101,363 115,162 -12.00%
4 x 4 AUSTRALIA 13,687 15,299 -10.50%
CARAVAN & MOTORHOMES 23,005 25,713 -10.50%
APC 18,467 20,605 -10.40%
JUST TRUCKS & HEAVY EQUIPMENT 10,550 11,731 -10.10%
DONNA HAY 87,374 97,033 -10.00%
MODERN FISHING 11,989 13,306 -9.90%
AUSTRALASIAN DIRT BIKE 19,942 22,034 -9.50%
COUNTRY HOME IDEAS 18,433 20,368 -9.50%
STREET MACHINE 39,212 43,213 -9.30%
JUST CARS 50,026 54,775 -8.70%
AUSTRALIAN GOURMET TRAVELLER 65,517 71,525 -8.40%
AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC 75,530 82,339 -8.30%
MEN’S HEALTH 65,311 71,053 -8.10%
PREVENTION 48,127 52,192 -7.80%
WHEELS 43,402 47,008 -7.70%
MOTOR 20,449 22,139 -7.60%
HEALTHY FOOD GUIDE 37,716 40,783 -7.50%
GARDENING AUSTRALIA 64,532 69,469 -7.10%
WOMEN’S HEALTH 86,080 92,596 -7.00%
EARTHMOVERS & EXCAVATORS 8,570 9,209 -6.90%
RUNNER’S WORLD 13,990 14,971 -6.60%
WEIGHT WATCHERS 50,559 53,618 -5.70%
ROTARY DOWN UNDER 28,636 30,297 -5.50%
SPORT FISHING AUSTRALIA MAG 6,964 7,369 -5.50%
YOUR GARDEN 42,757 45,157 -5.30%
AUSTRALIAN PHOTOGRAPHY 9,866 10,410 -5.20%
FRESHWATER FISHING AUSTRALIA 10,677 11,257 -5.20%
CAMPERTRAILER AUSTRALIA 8,432 8,889 -5.10%
K-ZONE 40,002 42,048 -4.90%
AUSTRALIAN MEN’S FITNESS 28,668 30,117 -4.80%
AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER 10,015 10,484 -4.50%
AUSTRALIAN AUTO ACTION 10,030 10,478 -4.30%
AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY 451,235 470,331 -4.10%
COUNTRY STYLE 62,015 64,389 -3.70%
RM WILLIAMS OUTBACK 62,133 64,524 -3.70%
MONEY MAGAZINE 50,077 51,970 -3.60%
FARMS & FARM MACHINERY 8,769 9,083 -3.50%
AUSTRALIAN 4WD ACTION 49,251 50,983 -3.40%
VOGUE LIVING 40,746 41,834 -2.60%
FISHING WORLD 14,131 14,472 -2.40%
RECIPES 107,522 110,027 -2.30%
VOGUE AUSTRALIA 50,129 51,291 -2.30%
MARIE CLAIRE 88,971 90,519 -1.70%
TRADE A BOAT 12,022 12,169 -1.20%
BETTER HOMES & GARDENS 384,750 388,110 -0.90%
MONTHLY, THE 31,104 31,391 -0.90%
INSTYLE 53,158 53,536 -0.70%
HARPERS BAZAAR 52,856 52,635 0.40%
AUSTRALIAN HOUSE & GARDEN 113,730 113,105 0.60%
CLUB MARINE 85,711 85,004 0.80%
GOOD HEALTH 67,188 66,601 0.90%
INSIDE OUT 45,051 44038 0.023
FEAST 37,090 35,625 4.10%
SUPERFOOD IDEAS 170,176 163,292 4.20%
AUSTRALIAN HANDYMAN 55,666 53,255 4.50%
BELLE 45,055 43,124 4.50%
FRANKIE 63,645 60,852 4.60%
CARAVAN WORLD 13,114 12,529 4.70%
RUSSH 19,957 18,905 5.60%
GRAND DESIGNS AUSTRALIA 20,848 19,626 6.20%
DIABETIC LIVING 63,127 58,662 7.60%
REAL LIVING 81,103 75,047 8.10%
AUSTRALIAN HOME BEAUTIFUL 86,210 79,580 8.30%
AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY INVESTOR 26,582 23,845 11.50%
WOMEN’S FITNESS 61,143 50,372 21.40%
FAMILY CIRCLE 106,600 84,358 26.40%
ELLE AUSTRALIA 61,061
HALLIDAY’S WINE COMPANION 23,755
TASTE.COM.AU MAGAZINE 80,583
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