2021
9
UK Magazines Market Report 2021
2021-12-22T03:04:18+00:00
OX1050541
2195
146430
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Report
en_GB
“The pandemic has highlighted the potential in virtual events for publishers. While classes are the most popular type of magazine event, magazine readers do not have a clear preference for…

UK Magazines Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

The UK Magazines report identifies consumer attitudes towards print circulation, magazine publishers in the UK, and in-person and virtual magazines in the UK. This magazine market research report covers the market size, magazine publishers industry statistics, market segmentation and market size for the Magazines market in the UK. 

Current Market Landscape

Following the closure of many men’s magazines in recent years, a gap in the market has opened up, with many men now feeling that there is not currently a magazine for them. Less than half of men did not read a magazine in the three months to August 2021, citing there not being a magazine available that interests them, nearly double the number of women who gave this reason.

  • 30% of men did not read a magazine (print or online) in the three months to August 2021, compared to 17% of women.
  • Value sales are estimated to slip back by 5% to £1.63 billion during 2021.
  • 50% of consumers eat cereals more often, challenging traditional sweet treats as a snack choice.

COVID-19 was a blow to the magazine market performance, particularly print magazines. Print circulation at many titles has recovered somewhat from the height of the pandemic, and declines have not been as steep in 2021; however, circulation is still set to continue to fall year-on-year, as was the trend pre-pandemic. While COVID-19 has impacted each title differently, overall, the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital/online magazines, leading titles to increase investment in developing and expanding digital content, from podcasts to virtual events.

 

Future Market Trends in Magazines

Social media remains one of the biggest threats to magazines, as it provides a free entertainment alternative to reading a magazine. The threat looms particularly large as more titles look to encourage people to pay for a digital subscription. However, the ongoing controversies surrounding social media platforms, from the spread of fake news to negative mental health implications, presents branding opportunities for magazines. By focusing on accuracy and wellness titles can highlight their value and distinguish themselves from social media.

Digital subscriptions are critical to the long-term health of many magazine titles. Improvements in AI and machine learning present opportunities to create far more sophisticated dynamic subscription models that are tailored towards the individual, providing an opportunity for publishers to implement payment models more likely to attract and retain subscribers.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Media market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on magazines.
  • Forecast for the UK print circulation of consumer magazines.
  • Magazine readership and purchasing.
  • Interest in in-person and virtual magazine events.
  • The impact of magazine advertising.
  • Reasons for not reading magazines.

Covered in this report

Magazines: The Economist, The Week Junior, The Spectator, Take a Break, Woman’s Weekly, That’s Life, Chat, The People’s Friend, Bella, Camping and Caravanning, Slimming World Magazine, BBC (BBC Good Food, BBC Gardeners’ World), Good Housekeeping, Prospect, HELLO!, T3, Men’s Health, MoneyWeek, Heat, Grazia, Olive, Sainsbury’s Magazine, The Big Issue, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Red, Esquire, Wired, GQ, The National Trust Magazine, Tesco Magazine, ASDA Magazine, Waitrose & Partners (Waitrose & Partners Food, Waitrose & Partners Health) Nature’s Home, English Heritage Members Magazine, The Garden, Stylist, My VIP (Pets at Home Magazine), Time Out, ES Magazine, Private Eye, The Week.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Rebecca McGrath, a leading analyst in the Media sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The pandemic has highlighted the potential in virtual events for publishers. While classes are the most popular type of magazine event, magazine readers do not have a clear preference for events taking place in-person or virtually. Publishers should continue to invest heavily in virtual events programmes, even while in-person events are able to take place without issue.
Rebecca McGrath
Associate Director for Media and Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on magazines
      • Figure 1: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on magazines, 2021
    • The market
    • Print circulation declines will continue post-pandemic
      • Figure 2: Market forecast for print magazine circulation, 2016-26
    • Companies and brands
    • Condé Nast introduces new global content strategy
    • Bauer Media adds shoppable print adverts
    • Magazines invest in newsletters to boost subscription offerings
    • The consumer
    • Pandemic further shifts magazine readership online
      • Figure 3: Expected magazine readership over the next 12 months, 2021
    • Free magazines are the most read type of magazine
      • Figure 4: Magazine readership, by genre and format, 2021
      • Figure 5: Magazine readership (NET), 2021
    • Over half of print readers bought a single-issue print magazine
      • Figure 6: Print magazine purchasing, 2021
    • Subscriber retention becomes increasingly important
      • Figure 7: Digital magazine purchasing, 2021
      • Figure 8: Magazine website/app purchasing, 2021
    • Multi-title profiles will encourage registration
      • Figure 9: Magazine behaviour, 2021
    • Connecting print to ecommerce improves the value of print advertising
      • Figure 10: Print magazine behaviour, 2021
    • People are interested in informative events over celebrities
      • Figure 11: Types of magazine events, 2021
    • Online events are just as popular as in-person ones
      • Figure 12: Interest in magazine events, 2021
    • Expansion into TV streaming should help capture non-magazine reading consumers
      • Figure 13: Reasons for not reading magazines, 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Dynamic paywalls can encourage more people to subscribe
    • Subscriber retention requires more focus
    • QR codes and mobile image recognition to boost value of print advertising
  4. Market Size and Performance

    • Pandemic has further boosted importance of digital content and subscriptions
      • Figure 14: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on magazines, 2021
    • Smaller print circulation declines in 2021
      • Figure 15: UK print magazine circulation, 2016-21
  5. Market Forecast

    • Print circulation declines will continue post-pandemic
      • Figure 16: Market forecast for print magazine circulation, 2016-26
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 17: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2015-26
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Market Segmentation

    • Print circulation declines were not as steep in the first half of 2021
      • Figure 18: Average circulation for top 10 UK/RoI paid print magazines, six months to month end, 2017-20
      • Figure 19: Average circulation for top 10 UK/RoI paid print magazines, six months to month end, 2019-21
    • Supermarket’s remaining open kept free magazine circulation high
    • Stylist’s distribution changes prove effective
      • Figure 20: Average circulation for top 10 UK/RoI free print magazines, six months to month end, 2017-20
      • Figure 21: Average circulation for top five UK/RoI free print magazines, six months to month end, 2019-21
    • News and current affairs titles perform strongly while taking different approaches
      • Figure 22: Average circulation for top five UK/RoI news and current affairs print magazines, six months to month end, 2017-21
    • Women’s weekly magazines continue to struggle
      • Figure 23: Average circulation for top five UK/RoI women’s weekly print magazines, six months to month end, 2017-20
      • Figure 24: Average circulation for top five UK/RoI women’s weekly print magazines, six months to month end, 2019-21
    • Strong growth in digital circulation
      • Figure 25: Top 10 average UK/RoI digital magazine edition circulation, six months to month end, 2019-20
      • Figure 26: Top 10 average UK/RoI digital magazine edition circulation, six months to month end, 2020-21
  7. Market Drivers

    • Long-term working from home habits to impact print magazine market
      • Figure 27: Post-pandemic working from home trends, 2021
    • Brands are spending less on print advertising …
      • Figure 28: Advertising spend on print press, 2017-21
    • … but the digital advertising market is growing
    • Crackdown on plastic waste to alter magazine gifts
    • Publish Future acquires Dennis Publishing
    • Many new children’s titles launched
  8. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Conde Nast introduces new global content strategy
    • Bauer Media adds shoppable print adverts
    • Bauer Illuminate uses consumer data to entice advertisers
    • Magazines invest in newsletters to boost subscription offerings
    • Magazine brands further explore potential of TV
    • Condé Nast adds channels to Rakuten TV
    • The Big Issue TV
    • Cosmopolitan introduces more product lines
    • UK edition of Rolling Stone launches
    • The New York Times embraces TikTok in multi-platform campaign
  9. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Slight growth in advertising spend by magazines in 2021
      • Figure 29: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by magazines, 2017-21 (up to 30 September 2021)
      • Figure 30: Top 10 advertisers in the magazine market, 2017-21 (up to 30 September 2021)
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  10. Brand Research – Women’s Magazines

    • Brand map
      • Figure 31: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, 2021
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 32: Key metrics for selected brands, 2021
    • Brand attitudes: Consumers don’t see Red as worth paying more for
      • Figure 33: Attitudes, by brand, 2021
    • Brand personality: Cosmopolitan is viewed as the most fun
      • Figure 34: Brand personality – Macro image, 2021
    • Vogue is perceived as aspirational and sophisticated
      • Figure 35: Brand personality – Micro image, 2021
    • Brand analysis
    • Gen Z have the most positive Vogue associations
    • Cosmopolitan is considered fun and accessible
    • Elle doesn’t stand out against Vogue and Cosmopolitan
    • Women are not very familiar with Red
  11. Brand Research – Men’s Magazines

    • Brand map
      • Figure 36: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, 2021
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 37: Key metrics for selected brands, 2021
    • Brand attitudes: Men’s Health is connecting to people as individuals
      • Figure 38: Attitudes, by brand, 2021
    • Brand personality: Wired is viewed as the most fun
      • Figure 39: Brand personality – Macro image, 2021
    • Esquire and GQ are more strongly associated with being sophisticated
      • Figure 40: Brand personality – Micro image, 2021
    • Brand analysis
    • Men’s Health has a strong brand image and dedicated readership
    • Despite high readership, GQ doesn’t have strong associations
    • Esquire is considered exclusive
    • Wired is viewed as the most entertaining but has the lowest awareness
  12. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • Pandemic further shifts magazine readership online
      • Figure 41: Expected magazine readership over the next 12 months, 2021
    • Many remain committed to print
  13. Magazine Readership

    • Free magazines are the most read type
      • Figure 42: Magazine readership, by genre and format, 2021
      • Figure 43: Magazine readership, by genre, 2021
      • Figure 44: Magazine readership (NET), 2021
    • Greater investment in hobbies has boosted interest-specific magazines
    • Launch of Rolling Stone should appeal to men
  14. Magazine Purchasing

    • Over half of people bought a single-issue print magazine
      • Figure 45: Print magazine purchasing, 2021
    • Subscriber retention becomes the focus
    • The Economist introduces new strategies to limit churn
      • Figure 46: Digital magazine purchasing, 2021
      • Figure 47: Magazine website/app purchasing, 2021
    • Sophisticated dynamic paywalls could be more effective for encouraging subscriptions
    • Readly partners with H&M as subscriber numbers continues to grow
  15. Magazine Behaviour

    • Multi-title profiles will encourage registration
      • Figure 48: Magazine behaviour, 2021
    • Growing popularity of video podcasts should be an advantage for magazines
    • Potential for more podcast focused magazines
    • Connecting print to ecommerce improves value of print advertising
    • Restraint needed with print advertising
      • Figure 49: Print magazine behaviour, 2021
    • Delivery grows in importance to print magazines
    • Partnering with other delivery services
      • Figure 50: Interest in print magazine delivery, by gender and age, 2021
  16. Magazine Events

    • People are interested in informative events over celebrities
      • Figure 51: Interest in types of magazine events, 2021
      • Figure 52: Repertoire of types of magazine events, by generation, 2021
    • Online events are just as popular as in-person ones
      • Figure 53: Magazine events, 2021
    • Live shopping trend creates more opportunities for product demonstrations
  17. Reasons for Not Reading Magazines

    • Expansion into TV streaming should help capture non-magazine reading consumers
      • Figure 54: Reasons for not reading magazines, 2021
    • Competing with social media through positive wellbeing branding
    • NFTs can be an option to create exclusivity
    • A gap has developed in the market for men’s magazines
      • Figure 55: Reasons for not reading magazines, by gender, 2021
    • Expense is not the primary reason preventing people from getting magazines
  18. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
  19. Appendix: Central Forecast Methodology

    • Market forecast and prediction intervals
      • Figure 56: Market forecast for print magazine circulation, 2021-26
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 57: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2020-26
    • Forecast methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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