Recent relaunch of UK's New Musical Express magazine fails to stop circulation slide, with H2 2013 average print sales falling 21% year-over-year to 18,184
February 13, 2014
– A relaunch of the New Musical Express failed to stop its sales falling below the 20,000 mark for the first time, down more than a fifth year on year.
The IPC Media title, which celebrated its 60th birthday two years ago and unveiled a new look last year, had an average print sale of 18,184 in the second half of 2013, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures published on Thursday.
It was down 21.1% year on year and 9.1% on the previous six months.
Even including its digital edition, which accounted for an average sale of 1,307, NME slipped below the 20,000 mark, with a total sale of 19,491.
However, NME's publishing director Jo Smalley said the 62-year-old music title's reach across its print and digital platforms totalled more than 3 million.
"It continues to be a tough trading climate for most publishers. But the NME brand, its 60-plus years of heritage, its overall reach across multiple platforms and the way we help brands connect a young and valuable audience with live music experiences and events keeps NME in revenue growth."
The title, which began charging for online content for the first time last year, will launch a new app later this year and make further changes to nme.com.
The ABC has published combined magazine print and digital circulation figures for the first time in it latest report for the second half of last year.
Digital editions, which must be an almost exact replica of the magazine, can be included as long as they are sold for at least 20% of the cover price of the print edition.
NME was not the only music and film magazine to suffer double digit falls. Bauer Media's Q was down 14.2% year on year and 10.5% on the previous six months to 52,781.
Market leader Mojo, another Bauer title, was down 11.3% year on year, but held onto top spot with average sales of 74,203. No Bauer titles reported digital figures.
IPC Media's Uncut took second spot on 56,223, down 9.8% year on year.
Classic Rock, owned by John Myer's Team Rock, sold 54,109 print editions, down 4.6% on 2012. It was some way ahead of its heavy rock rival, Bauer Media's Kerrang! on 35,127 (down 8.9% year on year) and another Team Rock title, Metal Hammer, on 26,273, which was down 12.5%.
Classic Rock sold 3,379 digital editions and Metal Hammer 1,421.
Among the film magazines, both Empire and Total Film had double digit losses year on year.
Bauer's Empire sold 145,117, down 13.5%, while Future Publishing's Total Film sold 55,316, down 15.4%. Total Film is one of the top 10 best-selling digital titles, with an average monthly sale of 12,134 digital editions in the second half of 2013.
The British Film Institute's film magazine, Sight and Sound, had a circulation of 17,716, down 11.1% year on year.
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