The Audit Bureau of Circulations’ latest figures reveal that the business-to-business and custom magazine publishing sectors are a bit of a mixed bag with some titles flying, and others in deep decline.
Bryan Gibson, who presented the ABC’s latest stats in Cape Town this week, laughed when he revealed that the title that showed a big jump in growth was ReSource.
“Anyone know the magazine?” he asked. “No? Well I checked what it was when I saw it had grown by 24 percent and it is the official magazine on the waste management industry!”
Surprisingly, the hospitality, catering and tourism segment is down by -26 percent. Butler took a major hit dropping from a total circulation 3 819 to 425 while Conference Venues dived from 38 663 to 19 208. South African Tourism Update showed growth, moving from 3 923 to 4 778.
In the management category, HR Future – with the tagline human strategy for business – grew a whopping 377 percent from 7 743 to a massive 36 931, and Black Business Quarterly by 23 percent. African Decisions showed slight growth, moving from 15 837 to 17 049.
AdVantage was the only magazine in the communications segment to show growth. It improved on last the corresponding previous period by growing from 3 630 to 3 725. Otherwise, the sector remained stable with a slight downward trend.
Custom magazines showed an overall growth of four percent. It was the entertainment sector, and particularly DSTV’s Dish (Premium) that impressed, with a massive 1 415 206 copies in monthly circulation. M-Net’s Magic was the biggest loser dropping from 145 673 to 67 980. It appears that the small price difference between M-Net subscriptions has led to more people to opt for DSTV.
Discovery magazine grew from 909 308 to 1 068 123 in the health and wellbeing segment. Life magazine also improved from 93 920 to 96 934. But the biggest surprise here was the fact that the sector has no less than eight new members!
The leisure category saw Mitsubishi Xplore move from 18 317 to 23 909. Dainfern’s Luxury Life was discontinued and the Blue Train dropped from 1 068 to 967. Jazz grew slightly from 19 790 to 20 244.
Retail sector saw some action, mainly from the Foschini titles. Foschini Sports showed massive growth,127 313 to 210 592, a whopping 65 percent. Edgars Club, on the other hand, dropped from 870 341 to 817 119 in terms of total circulation. Super Club for Kids also scored, moving from 114 058 to 164 969.
“Well,” said Gibson. “Some trends have given planners something to think about. Reducing cover price generates growth but will it discount the brand in the long term? Weekly titles are growing and Ilanga deserves a special mention. The decline in weekend papers has slowed and single copy sales are up. Vernacular titles sell. Planners: watch what you buy.”