If you’re not already a follower of MarkLives.com, it’s time you became one. Herman Manson, editor and founder of the successful website, brings you the latest news and views from the South African marketing and advertising industry. Of course, Manson also has some of the best contributing columnists and writers in the game to add to its success.

This week, MarkLives.com announced the latest ABC circulation figures. It’s interesting to note that consumer magazines such as Huisgenoot and You magazine are still top of the pops (Sensationalism sells!) while Finweek has seen a rapid decline in circulation. The once highly popular lifestyle magazine, Cosmo, has also taken a dive. 

I’ll leave the rest for your reading pleasure…

The biggest circulating consumer magazines in SA

as reported by MarkLives.com

The ABC has released circulation statistics for the period July 2013 to September 2013 (2013 Q3). Here are a couple of consumer magazine ABC numbers that popped out for us (see our newspaper ABC analysis here). We also updated our list of the biggest circulating consumer magazines in SA! There was significant movement in the top 10 positions.

Note: We compare the current figures with the same figures for this time last year and not with the previous quarter!

Overall circulation fell to 6,050,593 from 6,875,652 in the previous corresponding reporting period (and from 6,135,842 in the previous quarter). Single copy sales stood at 4,149,515 and total paid (includes subscription figures) stood at 4,974,133. Paid for digital copy sales stood at 69,581.

Some insights:

  • The business press generally held firm or saw some growth but Finweek has seen its circulation collapse quite spectacularly over the past seal of quarters.
  • Africa Geographic saw its circulation collapse to 11,645 from 17,992. It’s publisher has since closed down and its holding company is working to relaunch the title.
  • In the men’s market FHM continued its decline by falling to 27,352 from 37,444. It wasn’t the only title in this market segment to see its circulation fall.
  • TopGear saw a significant decline to 26,494 from 37,096 while long suffering CAR magazine claimed back some lost ground.
  • Cosmopolitan seems to be in serious decline. Circulation fell to 63,386 from 85,212 (and 78,619 in Q2).
  • Kuier jumps to 102,512 from 78,896 (and 97,135 in Q2).Woman and Home pulls off similarly impressive growth to 106,036 from 86,153 (following a collapse to 83,863 from 101,690 in Q2).

More bad news for Finweek

Financial Mail declined to 22,551 from 25,065 (total paid 20,466). Finweek collapsed to 14,013 from 21,978 (total paid 11,496). Entrepreneur grew its circulation to 20,609 from 18,619. Noseweek also grew to 17,312 from 15,886. Succeed grew slightly to 23,742 from 22,005.

Forbes Africa fell to 14,704 from 18,919.

Entertainment, celeb news

heat magazine saw some growth to 29,139 from 28,316. Bona jumped to 104,234 from 82,855.Huisgenoot climbed to 277,577 from 273,772 while sister titles YOU declined slightly to 161,200 from 162,879 whileDrum fell to 113,555 from 115,375. Taalgenoot fell slighty to 68,330 from 69,766. The Big Issue grew to 11,736 from 10,817. Readers Digest resigned.

People fell to 77,201 from 84,323. Rolling Stone stood at 8,021 after failing to make a submission in the previous corresponding reporting period. The Red Bulletin reported a paid for circulation of 37. It has slashed its circulation (mostly free) to 38,425 from 68,461.

Home & Gardening, Leisure

In the home category Conde Nast House & Garden fell to 45,874 from 46,340. Food & Home Entertaining declined to 31,810 from 34,554. Sarie Kos fell to 48,524 from 50,996. SA Garden was discontinued. Prestige fell to 4,450 from 9,334.

Elle Decoration grew to 24,044 from  23,593 and The Gardener grew to 24,039 from 23,946. Die Tuinier grew to 22,627 from 20,829. House & Leisure is up slightly to 44,071 from 43,991. SA Garden and Home grew to 61,059 from 58,253 and Tuis/Home jumped to 82,994 from 79,524. Visi grew to 11,026 from 10,604.Passi posted a circulation of 7,365.

FHM collapse continues

FHM fell to 27,352 from 37,444 (but is up from 25,614 in Q2). Men’s Health fell to 56,022 from 64,186.Destiny Man declined to 18,730 from 19,250 and GQ to 29,672 from 30,054. Popular Mechanics fell to 43,307 from 46,862. Stuff fell to 19,379 from 25,811 (added 2013/11/04 – the publisher notes the title changed frequency – up from six issues a year to 10). Playboy resigned. Braintainment grew slightly to 13,133 from 13,080. PC Format fell to 12,738 from 15,219.

On the sporting side Compleat Golfer fell to 10,700 from 18,615 and Kick Off fell to 53,568 from 61,140.SA Hunter grew to 43,014 from 40,539. ZigZag grew to 9,286 from 8,873.


TopGear saw a significant decline to 26,494 from 37,096. Auto Trader fell to 10,436 from 15,551. Bike SA fell to 21,331 from 26,976. Drive Out/Wegry declined to 31,743 from 32,195 while Speed and Soundfell to 36,365 from 40,376.

CAR won some ground climbing to 79,041 from 73,521. Caravan and Outdoor Life grew to 21,108 from 17,289 and Leisure Wheels to 20,385 from 19,442. Getaway fell to 43,335 from 51,649 but SA Country Life grew to 38,826 from 35,183. Weg/Go fell to 75,349 from 77,540 and WegSleep to 27,806 from 29,544. National Geographic Traveller was discontinued.

The big Cosmo collapse

What on earth is going on at Cosmo? Circulation declined to 63,386 from 85,212 (and 78,619 in Q2).Finesse also continues its slide – down to 67,319 from 73,797.  Real collapses to 33,947 from 60,986.Elle fell to 34,089 from 36,158, Glamour to 68,805 from 70,885, Good Housekeeping to 63,594 from 65,278. Ideas/Idees fell to 77,166 from 89,614. Leef declined to 36,182 from 42,332 and Marie Clairefrom 35,330 to 41,791. Move! is down to 123,058 from 125,952. O falls to 32,081 from 39,630. True Love falls to 61,292 from 71,126 and Women’s Health to 55,371 from 57,270. Your Family falls to 41,277 from 45,421. Seventeen falls to 24,327 from 29,125.

Kuier jumpe to 102,512 from 78,896 (and 97,135 in Q2). Woman and Home pulls off similarly impressive growth to 106,036 from 86,153 (following a collapse to 83,863 from 101,690 in Q2). Destiny magazine is up to 31,427 from 29,116 and Essentials grew to 36,396 from 34,780. Fair Lady stands at 54,509 – up from 53,436. Fitness magazine grew to 22,162 from 19,056. Grazia climbs to 21,475 from 20,745. Intiemgrew to 33,070 from 27,975.

Rooi Rose fell to 94,492 from 100,949 while arch-rival Sarie fell to 92,661 from 100,855.

The MarkLives Big Magazine list*

1. Huisgenoot 277,577 –
2. YOU 161,200 –
3. Move! 123,058 –
4. Drum 113,55 –
5. Woman and Home 106,036 Re-entry
6. Bona 104,234 +3
7. Kuier 102,512 -1
8. Rooi Rose 94,492 -1
9. Sarie 92,661 -4
10 Tuis/Home 82,994 –

CAR 79,041

People 77,201
Ideas/Idees 77,166
Weg/Go 75,349
Vroue Keur 73,933

* By total circulation. Must have a cover price. Annuals Excluded.
Movement on the Big Magazine list compared to 2013 Q2 data.

Credits: The original article was published on the Marklives.com website on the 13th November 2013: http://www.marklives.com/2013/11/biggest-circulating-consumer-magazines-sa/#.UoTD-vnddTx

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