Home Interest, Travel and Bridal Magazines - Half Yearly Review

- The DIY and home renovation titles continue to show the most hope in the Home Interest sector.- It is another sad ABC for the travel market with yet another decline.- The Bridal market has a shocking year with an 11% drop in circulation year-on-year.Home InterestThe nation loves all things property and home décor and the Home Interest magazine market is the one performing best across the board. Despite it being the sixth consecutive year the home interest market has declined, the decline was lower than other markets with only a 3% fall YoY and 2% PoP.Home_Interest_Magazines_ABCs_July-December_2013v2

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The top two titles of this sector remain unchanged with Ideal Home holding firm in the number 1 spot despite a 3% decline YoY. In at number two is Country Living which has held figures YoY and increased PoP by 1%. The Hearst title now records an average monthly circulation of almost 187,360 – down only 814 copies over the year. They still have a high number of digital downloads at 2,644 but this has fallen by 18% and still only accounts for 1.4% of their total circulation. The Country Living brand is ever growing though as they continue to build brand extensions with the fayres and their latest DFS sofa range. Looking forward their recent re-design could potentially take them up to number 1 in the next reports but we will have to wait and see.

One of the ‘shining stars’ in the category is IPC’s 25 Beautiful Homes who have been the only title to publish a year-on-year increase at 2%.As we have mentioned in the past the premium end of the market continues to suffer with World of Interiors and Elle Decoration posting declines of 7% PoP and 8% YoY respectively. This is allowing room for the more accessible brands such as Style at Home to take command of the home interest audiences who are still more keen than ever to renovate & improve their homes through DIY.

Travel

This Jul-Dec 2013 report makes it the fourth consecutive season that all three travel magazines have experienced a decline.

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Conde Nast Traveller holds its position as top of the travel magazines market but again they have seen a 2% decline year-on-year and this is unfortunately matched with a 2% decrease period-on-period. This is all despite the actions of Melinda Stevens who joined Traveller last year and certainly made her stamp on the magazine with the content focus shifting to be more experience-led with an interest shown in holidays with a boho, action & adventure vibe. In the last report we had high hopes that this would improve the circulation numbers for the title but perhaps the content has alienated those readers who were more focused in the opulent, high end content of days past.

Despite the decline in the travel market, titles do not seem to be growing digital or brand extensions like other markets in order to save print. Ultravel from the Telegraph is a bit of an exception as they are now doing partnerships to grow print run.In terms of digital circulation, Lonely Planet Traveller is still leading the sector with a 23% increase on last years recorded circulation and over double that of Conde Nast Traveller. Still dragging their feet in the digital arena is Sunday Times Travel as they are still to even have a dedicated website, let alone a digital edition for download. This is definitely being talked about now so hopefully within the next 12 months we should see this arrive and it will be interesting to see how it performs.

Bridal

It is no surprise to see that Bridal magazines have also fallen in the ABCs with year-on-year numbers being down by 11%, bringing the combined circulation of all the titles down to a tiny 157,119 copies.

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Conde Nast Brides is still the market leading title, despite their circulation falling by 7% YoY. You and Your Wedding also fell by a similar proportion.

Hardest hit was Wedding magazine dropping a rather steep 32%, which is such a shame after their rather static 2012 results. There are rumours however that the magazine will be up for sale soon which will undoubtedly be having an impact on the publication.

The only light in the bridal market comes from Perfect Wedding which saw a 8% increase in ABC. Being one of the two monthlies in the market, the other being Wedding Ideas, it is slightly unfair to compare their circulation to that of the bi-monthlies as they are actually selling closer to 48,034 every two months which sits them closer to that of Brides. It will be interesting to see if there is a trend however towards this more impact sized, regular issue proving more successful than the larger format bi-monthlies like Y&YW and Brides and we will keep our eye out for it in the next ABCs.

With the announcement that Elle are to be opening their own wedding magazine later this year we are a little dubious as to where it will fit in especially as the market has suffered so much in this ABC, but the exact details of the launch are still to be confirmed so we are unsure as of yet.

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