August 13, 2015 Last Updated 8:53 am

UK magazine circ levels decline 5%, with digital editions growth slowing (or declining)

The Economist continues to record strong digital growth through a diversified approach to replicas and non-replica editions

The latest ABC reports in the UK show mixed results for digital editions in the UK, a trend also seen in the US (see TNM report here).

Economist-cover-200While The Economist continues to claim huge growth in digital – partly because of the magazines unique approach of auditing non-replica editions, something more common with newspapers – other titles are struggling. Empire, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, HELLO! and other titles reported declines in their digital edition readership, according to the latest ABC reports. Of the top 20 titles reporting digital circulation, 13 showed declines. Overall, a little more than a third of titles lost some digital circulation.

“Our latest circulation numbers are in line with what we have seen over the last few years – a steady migration to digital,” said Michael Brunt, Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director of circulation at The Economist. “Whilst the majority of our new customers still choose a subscription that provides both print and digital formats, the number choosing digital-only circulation has grown tremendously. This is making our circulation increasingly profitable, as our revenues are increasing and at the same time, our costs are decreasing. We’ve enjoyed the benefits of this trend for some time and it’s a great position to be in.”

In the UK, The Economist now has 70,953 in digital, and while that is only around 58 percent of what it can claim in the US, as a share of total circulation it is far higher – 32 percent of the total in the UK, versus only 14 percent in the US.

In print, circulation levels continue to slide, with the average readership level falling 5.3 percent.

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