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Music mag ABCs, gloom for newsstand titles, joy for the freebies

By | Published on Friday 17 August 2012


The music magazine circulation figures always make good reading for fans of doom and gloom, providing you’re willing to ignore the free titles.

The good news for NME is that it was Q that was saddled with the most doom in the latest set of ABC circulation stats, released yesterday, having seen its sales slump 19.7% year on year, and 16.7% in the last six months. And unlike the NME, whose print circulation has been nose-diving for years, Q doesn’t have quite as a prolific online operation to fall back on. Q now sells an average of 64,596 copies each month.

Sister title Mojo at Bauer remains healthier, losing only 2.4% of sales year on year, and selling 85,149 copies each issue. Meanwhile Bauer Media’s weekly music mag, Kerrang!, saw sales decline 6.6% year on year to 40,203.

NME did incur a sales decline of 17.6% in the last year though, so isn’t far behind Q in the doom stakes, and it started off with fewer print readers to lose. It now sells just 23,924 copies a week. Though publisher IPC will tell you how many more music fans consume NME online. Which, to be fair, is true. Even though all the banners and pop overs on routinely crash my browser.

For good news in the music mag market, you need to look to the free titles, which are printing and distributing more than ever (which possibly means they’re selling more ads, though not necessarily).

The Fly remains the biggest music magazine in terms of circulation, with its ABC up 8.2% so far this year to 108,827. Stool Pigeon also had a slight increase, up 1.7% over the year so far to 54,588, while Proper Music’s Properganda was up a massive 68.8% to 76,339. No wonder I keep falling over piles of it here in Edinburgh at the moment.

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