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Children's Comics and Magazines - UK - April 2010

The market for children’s magazines has succumbed to the economic downturn, despite having traditionally boasted a greater degree of resilience to economic turmoil than many of its more vulnerable counterparts in magazine publishing. There is also a widely held belief across the publishing industry that this is a recession that will be harder to emerge from than in previous years, because of the strength of competition coming from the internet.

  • Despite traditionally having some resilience against economic turbulence, the children’s magazines market has succumbed to the same fate as many of its contemporaries in the magazine industry. 2009 proved to be something of a bloodbath for consumer publishing, with sales of children’s comics and magazines falling 8% to £125 million.
  • Pre-teen titles have shown greater resilience than the early years category, with sales of the former falling by 12% between 2007 and 2009, compared with a 17% decline for the latter.
  • Although 82% of children read comics or magazines, children themselves are much less likely to actually buy them. Among 7-10s, magazines are being purchased primarily by parents for their children, with only 18% of children buying for themselves.
  • Nearly six in ten kids are attracted by free covermount giveaways that come with comics and magazines, reflecting the growing consumer expectation of getting things for free.
  • One in five consumers have bought a children’s magazine for their own children, while a similar proportion have purchased for other people’s children. Vital targets include part-time employees, high-level internet users, consumers aged 25-34 and of those with children aged 5-9.
  • The most common reason for buying magazines is as a form of distraction, with 42% of families who buy them saying they do so to keep the kids occupied. This motivation is ahead of the promotion of literacy – only 25% feel comics and magazines are the best way to encourage kids to read.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • Abbreviations
        • Future Opportunities

          • Get in the game
            • New hardware, new opportunity
              • Early Learning meets Dr Kawashima
                • Interactive in new and traditional ways
                • Market in Brief

                  • Gripped by the global downturn
                    • A whole new world, a whole new challenge
                      • Tough at the top
                        • The ones to watch
                          • Out of their league?
                          • Internal Market Environment

                            • Key points
                              • Pocket money
                                • KGOY, but toys are still A-OK
                                  • Conscientious kids?
                                    • Figure 1: Where money is spent – 7-10s, 2005-09
                                    • Figure 2: Where money is spent – 11-14s, 2005-09
                                  • The evolving infant
                                    • Figure 3: Trends in usage and access to media – 7-14s, 2005-09
                                  • Shifting reading online
                                    • Figure 4: Trends in attitudes towards reading – 7-12s, 2005-09
                                • Broader Market Environment

                                  • Key points
                                    • Economic disaster
                                        • Figure 5: GDP quarterly percentage change, 2004-09
                                      • Resilience is futile?
                                        • Children’s expenditure vs adult expenditure
                                          • Declining base of users
                                            • Figure 6: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2005-15
                                          • A web of opportunities?
                                            • Figure 7: Broadband penetration, by demographics, 2004-09
                                        • Competitive Context

                                          • Key points
                                            • The adult purse
                                              • Staying at home and saving
                                                • Silver lining
                                                  • Children’s leisure lifestyles
                                                    • Magazines – the party’s over
                                                      • Figure 8: Trends for magazines/comics ever read and frequency of purchase – 7-10s, 2005-09
                                                      • Figure 9: Trends for magazines/comics ever read and frequency of purchase – 11-14s, 2005-09
                                                    • From one wireless to the next
                                                      • The universal entertainers
                                                        • TV
                                                          • Internet
                                                            • Consoles
                                                            • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                • Strengths
                                                                  • Less reliant on advertising revenues
                                                                    • Low start-up costs
                                                                      • Parental encouragement
                                                                        • Audience too young to be lured away
                                                                          • Rising fertility rates
                                                                            • Weaknesses
                                                                              • High rate of churn
                                                                                • Fickle and changing audience
                                                                                  • Competition from multichannel television
                                                                                    • Kids getting older younger
                                                                                      • Parental spend hit by economic fluctuation
                                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Forging an online presence
                                                                                            • BBC Worldwide
                                                                                              • Egmont
                                                                                                • The ultimate online presence
                                                                                                  • Changing Face
                                                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Annus horribilis
                                                                                                        • Figure 10: Sales and forecast of children’s magazines and comics, 2005-15
                                                                                                      • Survival of the fittest
                                                                                                        • Low cover prices inhibit growth
                                                                                                          • Out with the old…
                                                                                                            • …in with the new
                                                                                                              • The evergreens
                                                                                                                • Growing choice, diminishing audience
                                                                                                                  • The gift that keeps on giving
                                                                                                                  • Segment Performance

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Pre-teens closing on early years
                                                                                                                        • Figure 11: UK retail sales of children’s comics/magazines, by age category, 2005-09
                                                                                                                      • Pre-teens gaining on early years
                                                                                                                        • Primary titles pulling down early years
                                                                                                                          • Have you seen the others?
                                                                                                                            • Girl domination
                                                                                                                              • Figure 12: UK retail sales of children’s comics/magazines, by gender, 2005-09
                                                                                                                          • Market Share

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Clash of the Titans
                                                                                                                                • Figure 13: Circulation of most popular audited children’s comics/magazines*, July-December 2005-09
                                                                                                                              • Strong brands and low cover prices
                                                                                                                                • Capitalising on the silver screen
                                                                                                                                  • Tough at the top
                                                                                                                                    • Egmont – ever steady
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 14: Market shares of children’s comics/magazines market, by publisher, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                                    • Major players
                                                                                                                                      • Egmont UK
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Key financials for Egmont UK Ltd, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                                        • BBC Magazines
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Key financials for the children’s magazines division of BBC Worldwide, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Redan Publishing
                                                                                                                                            • Titan Magazines UK
                                                                                                                                              • DC Thomson
                                                                                                                                                • Panini UK
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Key financials for Panini UK Ltd, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Who’s Reading and Buying?

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Purchasing controlled by parents
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Summary of reading and buying data – 7-10s, 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Trends in how magazines were obtained – 7-14s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                    • Between magazines and comics
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Readership of magazines and comics – 7-10s, by gender, 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Maturing spend
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Amount spent on magazines or comics – 11-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Declining frequency
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Trends in frequency of purchasing magazines – 7-14s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                    • Small world benefits sales
                                                                                                                                                      • Newsagents still needed
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Where magazines are usually bought – 11-14s, 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Supermarket monopoly held at bay by boys
                                                                                                                                                        • Under-subscribed
                                                                                                                                                        • What Kids Think About Magazines

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • The end of repertoire?
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Attitudes towards magazines – 7-14s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                            • Generation free
                                                                                                                                                              • iChoose
                                                                                                                                                                • Vital constants
                                                                                                                                                                  • It’s a girl thing
                                                                                                                                                                  • Adult Purchasing of Children’s Comics and Magazines

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Buying for own children and other people’s
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Bought children's magazines for own children or other children in the last 12 months, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Family purchasing of children's magazines, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Titles at a glance
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Bought children's magazines for own children or other children in the last 12 months, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Buying profile
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Key demographics of buyers of children’s comics and magazines, February2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Title analysis
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Key demographics for specific children’s titles, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Adults’ Attitudes towards Children’s Comics and Magazines

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Comics and reading? – it’s good but it’s not the one
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • The lesser of media evils
                                                                                                                                                                            • A more traditional pastime
                                                                                                                                                                              • It’s all about distraction
                                                                                                                                                                                • The competitive set
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Granny fan club
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Quality and quantity
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Safety and nostalgia
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Target Groups for Children’s Comics and Magazines

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Three distinct target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Children’s comics and magazines target groups, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bookworms
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Kerpow!
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Bleakhouse
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – BRAD Listed Titles

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Children’s titles, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Pocket money received per week – 7-10s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Pocket money received per week – 11-14s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Trends in sources of additional money received – 7-10s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Trends in sources of additional money received – 11-14s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Usage and access to media – 7-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Usage and access to media – 7-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Usage and access to media – 7-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Usage and access to media – 7-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2005-15
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2005-15
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: UK households, by size, 2005-15
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Employment and unemployment, by gender, 2005-15
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Competitive Context

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Magazines/comics ever read and frequency of purchase – 7-10s, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Magazines/comics ever read and frequency of purchase – 11-14s, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Consumer expenditure on selected leisure goods and activities, 2003-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Participation trends, by family lifestage in selected leisure activities, 1999-2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Trends for radio ever listen to – 7-10s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Trends for radio ever listen to – 11-14s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Trends for television viewing – 7-10s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Trends for television viewing – 11-14s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Trends for internet usage – 7-10s, where access, how often, hours a week used and used for, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Trends for internet usage – 11-14s, where access, how often, hours a week used and used for, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Trends in console and computer game ownership and usage – 7-10s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Trends in console and computer game ownership and usage – 11-14s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Who’s Reading and Buying?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Trend for readership of magazines and comics – 7-10s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Readership of magazines and comics – 7-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: How magazines were obtained – 7-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Frequency of purchasing of magazines – 7-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Days on which magazines are usually bought – 7-14s, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Where magazines are usually bought – 11-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Where magazines are usually bought – 11-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Buyers of magazines/comics – 7-10s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – What Kids Think About Magazines

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Opinions about magazines – 7-14s, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Adult Purchasing of Children’s Comics and Magazines

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Bought children's magazines for own children or other children in the last 12 months (nets), February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Families on buying children's magazines, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Bought children's magazines for own children or other children in the last 12 months (nets), by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Families who buy magazines vs families who don’t buy magazines, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Most popular children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months (nets by title wise), by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Next most popular children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Other children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Most popular children's magazines bought for own children in the last 12 months, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Next most popular children's magazines bought for own children in the last 12 months, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Most popular combinations of children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Next most popular combinations of children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Other combinations of children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Most popular combinations of children's magazines bought for own children in the last 12 months, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: Most popular combinations of children's magazines bought for own children in the last 12 months, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Adults’ Attitudes towards Children’s Comics and Magazines

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: Most popular attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Next most popular attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, by most popular attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 83: Attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, by next most popular attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 84: Children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, by most popular attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: Children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, by next most popular attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 86: Children's magazines bought for own children in the last 12 months, by most popular attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 87: Children's magazines bought for own children in the last 12 months, by next most popular attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: Attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, by families who buy vs families who don’t buy, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: Attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, by children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Target Groups for Children’s Comics and Magazines

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Attitudes towards children’s comics and magazines, by target groups, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 91: Target groups, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: Children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, by target groups, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: Children's magazines bought for own children in the last 12 months, by target groups, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: Children's magazines bought for own children or other children in the last 12 months, by target groups, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: Families who buy vs families who don’t buy, by target groups, February 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Audit Bureau of Circulations
                                                                                                                                                                                              • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                              • DC Thomson & Co Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • ELSPA
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Evening Telegraph
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                              • LCD Publishing
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Newsbridge
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Panini UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Puzzler Media
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Signature Publishing
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Sony (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Spectator (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Sunday Post
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Titan Publishing Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Toontastic Publishing Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                                                              Children's Comics and Magazines - UK - April 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                              £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)