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Magazines - UK - December 2016

“Consumers are more likely than ever to be accessing content one article at a time via social media or search, weakening the appeal of printed collections of content. The popularity of digital channels is pushing publishers towards multimedia content as users of digital channels expect video, interactive polls and other interactive media as part of the experience.”

– Mark Flowers, Consumer Technology Analyst

This report is looking at the following areas:

  • Shift to digital channels pushes magazines to re-invent themselves as multimedia brands
  • Price drops and free issues are not the only way to increase the value proposition of print magazines

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Print circulation is down but not out
              • Figure 1: Forecast volume of print magazines distributed in the UK, 2011-21
            • The digital shift has forced magazines to re-invent themselves
              • Publishers lower print prices to maintain readership numbers
                • Native advertising fixes weaknesses of digital magazine content
                  • Facebook opens its Instant Articles platform to all publishers
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Publications bring new technology to print editions
                        • Amazon adds magazines to Prime membership
                          • Tech innovations personalise digital content and increase engagement
                            • Publishers focused on building digital presence make relatively low adspend on traditional channels
                              • Lessons for magazines from The New York Times’ adoption of new digital channels
                                • The consumer
                                  • Preference for print remains across most genres
                                    • Figure 2: Printed/digital magazines read in the last 6 months, September 2016
                                  • Only half of those who have read magazines in the last six months have purchased a magazine
                                    • Figure 3: Magazines read that were paid for, September 2016
                                  • Subscribers are more invested than the average consumer in digital media channels
                                    • Familiarity has the largest influence on magazine purchase decisions
                                      • Figure 4: Factors influencing magazine purchase decisions, September 2016
                                    • Men display a preference for specific-interest or themed magazines while women prefer to read a variety of content
                                      • Digital magazines more likely to be read on the go
                                        • Figure 5: Situations in which magazines were read, September 2016
                                      • Magazine content is a talking point for consumers
                                        • Figure 6: Attitudes towards magazines, September 2016
                                      • What we think
                                      • Issues and Insights

                                        • Shift to digital channels pushes magazines to re-invent themselves as multimedia brands
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Price drops and free issues are not the only way to increase the value proposition of print magazines
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Print circulation is down but not out
                                                      • The digital shift has forced magazines to re-invent themselves
                                                        • Publishers lower print prices to maintain readership numbers
                                                          • Native advertising fixes weaknesses of digital magazine content
                                                            • Facebook opens its Instant Articles platform to all publishers
                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                              • Print circulation is down but not out
                                                                • Figure 7: Forecast volume of print magazines distributed in the UK, 2011-21
                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                              • Segment Performance

                                                                • Women’s magazines represent the majority of the print market, while current affairs magazines succeed on digital channels
                                                                  • Figure 8: Magazines’ average print circulation, by genre, 01/01/2016-30/06/2016
                                                                  • Figure 9: Magazines’ average digital circulation, by genre, 01/01/2016-30/06/2016
                                                                • Women’s weeklies decline as print content fails to distinguish itself from free digital content
                                                                  • Figure 10: Top five women’s weekly magazines’ average circulation (print and digital), 2015 and 2016
                                                                • Cosmopolitan conquers static women’s fashion/lifestyle segment
                                                                  • Figure 11: Top five women’s monthly fashion/lifestyle magazines’ average circulation (print and digital), 2015 and 2016
                                                                • Current affairs magazines resilient in face of print declines
                                                                  • Figure 12: Top five news and current affairs magazines’ average circulation (print and digital), 2015 and 2016
                                                                • Free magazines lead buoyant men’s lifestyle segment
                                                                  • Figure 13: Top five men’s lifestyle magazines’ average circulation (print and digital), 2015 and 2016
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • The digital shift has forced magazines to re-invent themselves
                                                                  • From digital to print…
                                                                    • …and from print to digital
                                                                      • Strengths and weaknesses of the print magazine format
                                                                        • Publishers lower print prices to maintain readership numbers
                                                                          • Native advertising fixes weaknesses of digital magazine content
                                                                            • Facebook opens its Instant Articles platform to all publishers
                                                                            • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                              • Publications bring new technology to print editions
                                                                                • Amazon adds magazines to Prime membership
                                                                                  • Men’s Health tie-in food available in the UK
                                                                                    • Tech innovations personalise digital content and increase engagement
                                                                                      • Publishers focused on building digital presence make relatively low adspend on traditional channels
                                                                                        • Lessons for magazines from The New York Times’ adoption of new digital channels
                                                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                          • Publications bring new technology to print editions
                                                                                            • Amazon adds magazines to Prime membership
                                                                                              • Men’s Health-branded food available in the UK
                                                                                                • Tech innovations personalise digital content and increase engagement
                                                                                                  • The rise of the Slow News Movement
                                                                                                    • Lessons for magazines from The New York Times’ adoption of new digital channels
                                                                                                    • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                      • Publishers transitioning from print media to multimedia spend relatively little on traditional advertising
                                                                                                        • Figure 14: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on magazines, 01/01/2015-31/12/2015
                                                                                                        • Figure 15: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on magazines, by media type, 01/01/2015-31/12/2015
                                                                                                      • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                      • Brand Research

                                                                                                        • Brand map
                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, November 2016
                                                                                                        • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Key metrics for selected brands, November 2016
                                                                                                        • Specific-interest magazines seen as worth paying more for, while women’s weeklies are associated with value
                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Attitudes, by brand, November 2016
                                                                                                        • Vogue stands out as an exclusive brand, while the appeal of celebrity magazines diminishes
                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Brand personality – Macro image, November 2016
                                                                                                        • Celebrity magazines are viewed as intrusive and tacky, while the content of interest-specific magazines is seen as authoritative
                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Brand personality – Micro image, November 2016
                                                                                                        • Brand analysis
                                                                                                          • Glamour keeps in step with its major competitor despite costing more
                                                                                                            • Figure 21: User profile of Glamour, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Vogue enjoys a unique brand image of excellence and exclusivity
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: User profile of Vogue, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Despite high levels of brand awareness, consumers are less likely to recommend Cosmopolitan to their peers
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: User profile of Cosmopolitan, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Take a Break is read for light entertainment and its low-brow image does not hurt it
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: User profile of Take a Break, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Closer sheds some of the negative associations of other celebrity magazines
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: User profile of Closer, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Hello! is among the most visible magazine brands, despite having a negative image among some consumers
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: User profile of Hello!, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Empire’s brand has a smaller reach than other publications’ brands, but its readers are extremely positive about its content
                                                                                                            • Figure 27: User profile of Empire, November 2016
                                                                                                          • NME has a positive image among 16-34s, but women do not feel like it represents them
                                                                                                            • Figure 28: User profile of NME, November 2016
                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                          • Preference for print remains across most genres
                                                                                                            • Male readers and Millennials have the highest degree of engagement with digital editions of magazines
                                                                                                              • Only half of those who have read magazines in the last six months have purchased a magazine
                                                                                                                • Women are more likely to read magazines, but men more likely to buy magazines they read
                                                                                                                  • Subscribers are far more likely to engage with digital editions
                                                                                                                    • Subscribers are more invested than the average consumer in digital media channels
                                                                                                                      • Familiarity has the largest influence on magazine purchase decisions
                                                                                                                        • Digital magazines more likely to be read on the go
                                                                                                                          • Magazine content is a talking point for consumers
                                                                                                                          • Magazine Readership by Genre and Format

                                                                                                                            • Preference for print remains across most genres
                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Printed/digital magazines read in the last 6 months, September 2016
                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Repertoire of magazines read in the past 6 months, September 2016
                                                                                                                            • Male readers and Millennials have the highest degree of engagement with digital editions of magazines
                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Format of magazines read, by gender and age, September 2016
                                                                                                                          • Magazine Purchases and Subscriptions

                                                                                                                            • Only half of those who have read magazines in the last six months have purchased a magazine
                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Magazines read that were paid for, September 2016
                                                                                                                            • Women more likely to read magazines, but men more likely to buy those they read
                                                                                                                              • Subscribers are far more likely to engage with digital editions
                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Subscriptions to print or digital magazines, September 2016
                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Format of magazines read, by readers who have subscribed to a magazine, September 2016
                                                                                                                              • Subscribers are more invested than the average consumer in digital media channels
                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Attitudes towards magazines, by readers who subscribed to a magazine, September 2016
                                                                                                                            • Factors in Magazine Choice

                                                                                                                              • Familiarity has the biggest influence on magazine purchase decisions
                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Factors influencing magazine purchase decisions, September 2016
                                                                                                                              • Men display a preference for specific-interest or themed magazines while women prefer to read a variety of content
                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Factors influencing magazine purchases, by gender, September 2016
                                                                                                                            • Where Magazines are Read

                                                                                                                              • Digital magazines more likely to be read on the go
                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Situations in which magazines were read in the last 6 months, September 2016
                                                                                                                              • Urban areas produce different reading habits
                                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards Magazines

                                                                                                                                • Consumers display a strong preference for print media
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Attitudes towards magazines, September 2016
                                                                                                                                • Attitudes show how digital and print channels complement one another
                                                                                                                                  • The distinctive profile of digital magazine readers
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Selected attitudes towards magazines, by format of magazines read, September 2016
                                                                                                                                  • Magazine content is a talking point for consumers
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Selected attitudes towards magazines, by genre of magazine read, September 2016
                                                                                                                                  • Consumers engaged with digital media
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Attitudes towards magazines, by attitudes towards magazines, September 2016
                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                        • Market Forecast
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Forecast volume of print magazines distributed in the UK, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                        • Forecast Methodology

                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                        Magazines - UK - December 2016

                                                                                                                                        £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)