Print magazines are something we take for granted. They cover all subjects and all ages. There are ladies and men’s glossy mags filled with celebrity gossip, fashion and fitness. There are children’s mags and magazines for pretty much every hobby and interest out there.

Some of the most respected publications are essentially magazines:

  • The Economist
  • British Medical Journal
  • Esquire
  • The New Yorker

Establishing the difference between Circulation and Readership is important.

Circulation : The amount of copies of the publication are distributed

Readers: The estimated amount of people who read the publication

It is no real shock that print magazines are largely in decline, it is something that has been happening steadily for over a decade, but it’s not the case for all publications.

Woman’s Mag’s

It was my initial though the decline in print publication would be due to a sudden rise in the online readership. This has been proven not to be the case.

The Press Gazette has produced an interesting table which clearly shows average circulation, digital edition, % down.

This is a brief over view of 4 publications: the figures are all from 2015

  • Best selling title – Take a Break

Average Circulation: 589,495

Down: 9%

Digital: No digital copies

  • Worst selling Title – Reveal

Average Circulation: 122,986

Down: 24%

Digital: 796

  • Best performing title -The Lady

Average Circulation: 27,484

Down: 4%

Digital: 675

  • Best digital title: OK!

Average Circulation: 275,765

Down: 6%

Digital: 5506

In figures taken from Campaign for the first half of 2016 the highest selling non TV publication was Slimming World with an increased circulation of 2%.

Lifestyle publications such as Good House going for strength to strength. Circulation increased  by 9% to 370,506

In contrast some current affair publications have grown.

  • The Spectator excluding Australia 

Average Circulation 71,707

Up: 31%

Digital: 15,335

Private Eye circulation is at it’s highest circulation since 1986 with a rise of 5% to 229,777. This magazine has no digital edition.


While there is no question that some styles of publication are in decline, to say this is the case in all publications, some are thriving.



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