Private Frazer’s Doomed Magazines

February 27, 2013

Stall Velocity

Filed under: closures,consumer magazines,Uncategorized — privatefraser @ 8:33 am
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It looks like I picked the wrong week to give up snark, as FeaturesExec report that Key’s Classic Aircraft has skittered off the end of the runway.

The exits are here, here and, specifically, here.

February 26, 2013

Absolute Pants

Filed under: B2B magazines,closures — privatefraser @ 10:34 am
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After 21 years the bottom has fallen out of the market for Lingerie Buyer, the magazine for everyone “trying to find out what is happening in the intimate apparel industry“.

As Private Frazer remains utterly ignorant of what’s happening in his own underwear, he is not likely to feel this loss of broader industry knowledge too keenly.

February 18, 2013

After ABC comes D for Doomed

Filed under: Don't panic,figures — privatefraser @ 10:44 pm

Private Frazer was away last week on the sun-drenched beaches of North Uist so has only just got round to looking at the ABC release of the July-December circulation figures.

Appropriately for a report that came out on February 14th, publishers have suffered an absolute massacre. What to pick out from the jewels at the bottom of the vat of red ink?

One could point at Reader’s Digest which saw 138,000 copies fall away over the year (that’s over a third of its 2011 circulation); or Bauer, whose easy-going owners are no doubt blase about losses of 15%, 20% and 40% respectively for Closer, Heat and More.

Hearst’s printers too will have more capacity on their presses as Cosmo drops 69,000 copies, Reveal sheds 67,000, Company loses 59,000 and Best takes a 40,000 circulation bath.

Or should we laud Immediate, who have managed to take massive hits on four of their biggest brands – Good Food, Top Gear, Gardeners World and Radio Times are all over 30,000 copies down.

No, this time the prize has to go to Northern and Shell with three stellar performances: over 107,000 lost from each of Star and New!, and a 46,000 drop for OK! A quarter of a million copies an issue gone, like the memories of better days.

Don’t Panic! (18/02/13)

Filed under: Don't panic,figures — privatefraser @ 11:25 am

While I get round to digesting last week’s ABC returns, here’s an indication of where the market might be going, courtesy of Baird Davis in Folio:.

Over the past five years this is what’s happened on the US newsstands. “Bad” doesn’t even get half way to describing it:

  • Unit Sales: Down 44.9%
  • Revenue: Down 38.0%
  • Total Paid Circ: Down 14.9%
  • Single Copy Circ: Down 44.7%
  • Single Copy Circ as a Percent of Total Circ: Down from 17.7 to 11.8%

Mind you, with Hearst off 11% year on year and Bauer down over 10%, we might manage to go down the plughole even faster than our colonial cousins.

February 7, 2013

Pigeon Posted

Filed under: closures,consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 3:51 pm

The Stool Pigeon, a free bi-monthly music paper has wrung its own neck, saying:

running out 60,000 copies of a free newspaper six times a year and distributing them to 100 cities/towns across the UK has become untenable, and also increasingly less effective and exciting than publishing journalism online.

House Rules

Filed under: consumer magazines,PPA — privatefraser @ 2:35 pm
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If any more indication was needed that next week’s ABC figures are going to be brutally bad. it can be found in the news that the PPA are going to release combined print and digital figures on the same day as the official returns.

Of course this will be entirely unbiased, objective and beyond reproach. How could a set of figures produced by a body funded by the industry and designed to prop up advertising revenues for titles that are struggling to survive fail to be otherwise?

Prepare yourselves for the good news PR onslaught as every single UK publisher trumpets their great success.

Oh, the joy of being in an industry that is doing so, so well!


February 4, 2013

New Year, Old Story

Filed under: Chair by the door,consumer magazines,Corporate bollocks — privatefraser @ 8:58 am
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The news that IPC are going to lay off 150, or 8%, of their staff as part of “organisational changes” definitely puts the titles over at Auton Towers on the watch list.

Although IPC defenestrated as many of its underperforming magazines as it could in 2010, even it was unable to find enough mug punters to take all of its lame ducks. Couple that with IPC’s heavy dependence on advertising (there seems to have been little diversification into additional revenue streams) and you have major problems.

Of course, Private Frazer could be very wrong (it is my default position after all) and the cuts might be entirely because the US parent company needs to make big savings and the incredibly profitable UK arm has to share the pain. Yeah, as they say, right.

Watch this space.

Sylvia’s email to the IPC infantry can be read in full here. This is also where any new news will find a home.

IPC staffers with stories to share, please email  Anonymity guaranteed.

February 1, 2013

Rock Off

Filed under: Chair by the door,consumer magazines,digital only — privatefraser @ 4:19 pm

The latest print publication to go digital only is Artrocker magazine and, what would you know, this isn’t a setback, according to Tom Fawcett the editor in chief, it’s a reason for jubilation:

“When people were still ‘clubbing’  … we started a rock’n’roll night …. When people were saying the music industry was dead we launched a record label …. People were saying ‘Magazines are over’ so we started a magazine”

And when people were saying “the printer’s bill needs paying”, we went digital only.


We’re winning! Retreat!

Filed under: Chair by the door,consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 2:45 pm
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Isn’t irony great? As Apple sell their expensive boxes in ever-increasing amounts, the number of people who are prepared to buy a magazine about those boxes grows ever smaller.

And so it is with Macuser magazine, who’s “unique fortnightly frequency” is about to become, er, monthly and so not unique.

This of course should not be taken as a reverse in fortune. Oh no. The editor writes:

“we can add significantly more pages to the magazine, use a higher grade of paper, and increase the cover price … our readers love print”

The ABC for Macuser magazine in 2011 was 8,518, a drop of over 10% on the 2010 figure.

There’s a free iPad for every reader if their print sale goes up when next week’s ABC figures are released.

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