Mags: State of the (mag)nation - June 2010 readership

Australians' voracious magazine reading habits have dipped 2.7% year-on-year, exclusing newspaper inserted magazines, according to Roy Morgan's July 2009-June 2010 readership survey, though some categories have showed impressive gains.

Women's bridal magazines grew 23.7% thanks to a massive 62.3% readership boost for Modern Wedding, while home and lifestyle titles gained 9.9% more readers overall. Teen girls (+4.9%), sporting (+3.1%), men's lifestyle (+2.9%), health (+2.7%) and mass monthlies (+2.7%) also showed improvement.

But the stand-out titles included many from Roy Morgan's "Other" category: Big Issue (+32.4%), Australian Traveller (+28.1%) and New Scientist (+20.3%) all have reason to celebrate, along with GQ (+57.8%), The Week (+51.4%) and Recipes+ (33.3%).


Are you team Famous or team NW? The rival Pacific Magazines and ACP titles are almost neck-in-neck, while Woman's Day remains the market leader despite a 4.3% decrease and OK! was the only other weekly (other than English Woman's Weekly) to post a gain.


Readers have abandoned the glossies in droves with only Harper's BAZAAR, Vogue and The Australian Women's Weekly gaining ground. Perhaps women squirreled away their copies and refused to share, so coveted are these pricey packages with their free-gift-with-purchase adornments and celebrity endorsements? The women's fashion category alone fell 3.9%, selling an average of 1.48 million copies a month, down from 1.5 million a year ago. SHOP Til You Drop is currently residing in the 'women's lifestyle' category with Cleo, Cosmo and Women's Health, which fell 6.7%.


Both lost reader interest, or maybe the puzzle prize pools have been too good to disclose to one's nearest and dearest.


Our appetite for foodie mags remains near insatiable with results largely reflecting trends from the March survey. Will the collective tastebuds of the category sour when MasterChef magazine enters the readership fray?


We seem to be off garden-specific glossies (Your Garden, Gardening Australia, Burke's Backyard) but more tolerable towards those which encompass both indoor and outdoor living (Better Homes & Gardens has registered its highest ever readership) as well as interiors titles, which tend not to suffer from seasonal defective disorder.


Like those annoying people who do triathlons in their spare time, Women's Health strides ahead of the competition putting in in first place in the health pack while running second in the women's lifestyle race after Cosmopolitan, beating out Cleo and SHOP Til You Drop (if shopping were a bona fide sport, it could straddle the health category, too!).


The 62,000 readership gap between Dolly and Girlfriend is like a wedgie that won't go away no matter what [sisterhood of the travelling] pants you put on. The popular girl reigns supreme.

Circulation figures to come.

See also: State of the (mag)nation - March 2010 readership results

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel