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24 September 2014
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BBC Magazines' ABC figures January to June 2006

  • Top Gear posts it's highest ever circulation figure (182,706) and increases its lead over nearest rival What Car? by 62,000 copies

  • CBeebies Weekly and Doctor Who Adventures' debut ABCs exceed all expectations with 80,000+ and 77,000+ weekly/fortnightly sales     

  • Good Food up 3% and outselling nearest rival by three to one while olive posts a sizeable 9% increase  

  • Radio Times delivers biggest increase in retail sales value of any magazine in the market

  • Top of the Pops magazine still the UK's number one teen entertainment title

  • BBC Wildlife magazine sees 5% y-o-y growth following redesign while BBC Focus grows subs by 30%          

  • Subscriptions now exceed 600,000 (doubled since 2003)


Peter Phippen, Managing Director BBC Magazines, said: "We continue to publish some of the most editorially trusted and popular titles in core markets and remain a significant force in UK publishing judging by this latest set of results.


"Food, motoring, premium TV listings, gardening, wildlife and history are just some of the areas in which we lead the markets. I'm particularly proud of our two hugely successful launches in the pre-school and pre-teen markets this period, CBeebies Weekly and Doctor Who Adventures – both of which have well exceeded our sales targets, demonstrating that we are still the most successful publisher of children's titles in the UK. The next two ABC periods will see us concentrate on even more significant launches both in London and Bristol."





ABC Jan-June 2006

ABC Jan-June 2005

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Top Gear





Adam Waddell, Publishing Director, Top Gear magazine, said: "This is Top Gear's highest ever circulation since the magazine began in 1993. With a year on year increase of 10%, this is our seventh consecutive period of growth at a time when every direct competitor has, again, posted decline.


"In fact our closest competitor, WhatCar? is now 62,000 copies behind - the widest margin ever.  With our circulation edging towards 200,000 we feel that we've broken out of the niche of motoring magazines and now operate in a much broader marketplace.


"In fact, of all men's consumer monthlies, regardless of subject, only FHM, Loaded and Men's Health have higher circulations and we're substantially ahead of Maxim and GQ.


"Our website has enjoyed incredible success in its own right – announcing an ABCe of 962,000 monthly unique users."





ABC Jan-June 2006

ABC Jan-June 2005

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Good Homes





Adam Waddell, Publishing Director, Good Homes magazine, says: "Despite competing in one of the most competitive magazine sectors around, with no less than six new launches in the past year, Good Homes has posted a strong ABC of 135,954 maintaining its position in the market.


"The magazine is also on the cusp of some changes with new editor, Bernie Herlihy, who has inherited a strong circulation base on which to build as we develop the product. Whilst we won't be doing anything as dramatic as relaunching, inevitably a new editor brings new ideas and you'll notice a number of changes over the coming months."



Radio Times         


ABC Jan-June 2006

ABC Jan-June 2005

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Radio Times





Kathy Day, Publisher Radio Times, said: "Radio Times remains the most trusted premium listings title in a fiercely competitive and volatile market, delivering an ABC of 1,070,042. Radio Times is committed not only to producing the most innovative and distinctive magazine in the market, but also supporting it with powerful and targeted marketing. 


"This strategy continues to bear fruit, delivering the biggest increase in retail sales value of any magazine in the market. Our magazine success combined with an 87% growth in unique users of, and our EPG, PDA and mobile services make Radio Times the most powerful TV listings brand in the UK today."





ABC Jan-June 2006

ABC Jan-June 2005

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Good Food








Easy Cook





Claire Hollingsworth, Associate Publisher, BBC Food Group, says: "Despite two new food titles entering the market in the past twelve months, Good Food's 3% increase year on year ensures it's still the UK's number one food title, continuing to outsell its nearest rival by more than three to one. We've just announced an exciting period of change with a bold new logo and a refreshed, modern new look for our October issue that will ensure an even stronger presence on the newsstand.


"Olive meanwhile, continues to attract new foodie fans with its vibrant and eclectic mix of travel, restaurant reviews and recipes, resulting in a fantastic 9% rise this period.  Our recent reader survey, which identified three key groups of readers who'll be targetted through continued investment in the title, should ensure double-digit growth for the next period.


"Easycook, which we increased in frequency from four to six issues per year, has increased in profitability and RSV whilst  still achieving average issue sales growth. Following an introductory subs offer, EasyCook received over 2,000 requests which we're delighted with. The BBC Food Group is enjoying yet another unprecedented period of both critical success and commercial growth that shows no signs of dissipating."




ABC Jan-June 2006

ABC Jan-June 2005

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Gardeners' World




Easy Gardening





Dominic Murray, Publisher, BBC Magazines' Gardening Group, said: "Gardeners' World posts another strong ABC result, maintaining its number one position in the market. Its year on year position reflects the level of demand in the gardening market and wider industry during the key spring period.


"This period sees its rate of decline slowing, and we are broadening the editorial appeal of the title to ensure it reaches gardeners in every segment of this category. We are also committed to an investment programme to lead the category into recovery and, backed by continuing research and reader insight, spend will include key editorial content in Gardeners' World (such as our 'What to do Now' and 'Q&A' sections) as well as innovative added-value for subscribers and newsstand purchasers alike.


"Sadly, however, we recently took the difficult decision to close Easy Gardening and will focus our investment going forward on Gardeners' World and Gardens Illustrated."



Youth and Childrens                        


ABC Jan-June 2006

ABC Jan-June 2005

Change yoy

CBeebies Weekly




Doctor Who Adventures




Girl Talk




Girl Talk Extra







+28.1 (pop)

All pre-school and learning




Toni Round, Joint Managing Director, BBC Children's Magazines, said: "This period saw the BBC Magazines Youth and Children's team launch two of our most ambitious magazines ever in the pre-school and pre-teen markets - CBeebies Weekly and Doctor Who Adventures. As they ABC for the first time I'm delighted to say both have well exceeded their circulation expectations to post magnificent figures of 80,437 and 77,852 respectively.


"The success of CBeebies Weekly has prompted spontaneous emails and letters from hundreds of satisfied parents who find the magazine's unique interactive features indispensable to their child's development. As well as supporting other BBC pre-school titles, it has grown the pre-school market by introducing new readers to the benefits of magazines for young children.


"Doctor Who Adventures has also been one of our most successful launches, particularly as its target market includes 6-12 year-old boys - a challenging group to bring to the newsstand. The title has also benefited from some of the best quality and exclusive Doctor Who themed covermounted gifts.


"Elsewhere, WITCH magazine has posted a terrific 28% increase pop, assisted no doubt by the Disney cartoon's arrival on terrestrial BBC TV. Although the pre-school market has slightly dipped this period, other winners from the BBC stable include Fimbles (+3% pop) and Teletubbies (+13% pop) and we remain the UK's most trusted and largest publisher of Children's magazines.”    





ABC Jan-June 2006

ABC Jul-Dec 2005

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Top Of The Pops Magazine




It's HOT!





Duncan Gray, Associate Publisher, Teen Group said: "The Teen market has been tough and recent closures of some of our closest competitors have highlighted this.  We have invested in reader and wider audience research to ensure that we have the best possible package on the newsstand. The success of this has been shown with It's Hot! magazine capitalising on this research, implementing key findings into its  stunning recent redesign, reversing its ABC decline and showing growth of 3% period on period.


"Top of the Pops has been unaffected by the closure of the TV show.  Clearer communication of the enhanced editorial content on the cover, coupled with the change in frequency and exit of our nearest rivals have contributed to hugely encouraging growth period on period of 21%.


"Stability and growth in a declining sector is a real challenge and both of our Teen titles are achieving this.  With the addition of digital activity aimed at complementing the magazine proposition going forward we confidently expect this to continue."



BBC Bristol Magazines


ABC Jan-Jun 2006

ABC Jul-Dec 2005

change yoy

BBC Focus




BBC Wildlife Magazine




BBC History Magazine




Homes & Antiques




BBC Music Magazine*




Gardens Illustrated




Total Group figure




*BBC Music Magazine reports ABC only once a year


Andy Benham, Publishing Director, BBC Bristol Magazines says: "I'm delighted that BBC Magazines Bristol has once again had a great ABC period. BBC Focus has posted yet another increase, up 6% year on year. But the real success has been the title's subscriptions, which are up 23% period on period and over 30% year on year - figures that show we have found a great editorial formula that is getting readers to commit hard cash every month.


"BBC Wildlife has also performed well, with newsstand sales up nearly 4% and subscriptions nearly 7% year on year. Redesigning such an iconic and long-standing brand as BBC Wildlife in April this year was always going to be a risk, but the latest figures are reflective of the fact that the team pulled it off very successfully.


"I'm also happy that BBC History has held its ABC with a classic example of substitution, with subscriptions increasing by 3.4% to stand at their highest level ever and making up for a slight decline on the UK newsstand as the market moves away from the 'anniversary' readers, to the 'history society' readers with a serious specialist interest.


"The garden market has had a hard year in general, seeing the closure of two titles. Against that background, I'm pleased that Gardens Illustrated has declined just 3 % period on period. I'm now confident that we've bedded the title into its new home in Bristol and we have established a cost base that will enable the title to move forward and fully exploit its position as the UK's only newsstand, upmarket, aspirational gardening magazine.


"This is the first ABC that Homes & Antiques has announced since its move to Bristol, and we are delighted that the title has held steady this period. It's a great start for the title in its new home, and a solid base from which we can look to drive the magazine forward in a competitive market."


BBC Magazines Bristol is a wholly owned subsidiary of BBC Worldwide.




Ian Watson, International Director says: "Our international business continues to enjoy incredible growth. Top Gear magazine now has 14 editions (including the UK), spanning 40 territories. Top Gear has sold over 20 million copies worldwide since launch and global monthly readership is approaching one million. In addition to the ever-increasing list of Top Gear editions, we have secured our first license for olive, in Ukraine, joining our existing Good Food license in Romania.


"Our content syndication business also continues to show encouraging growth. Our joint venture with Times of India continues to go from strength to strength and we're set to invest in more companies internationally in the near future."



Notes to Editors:
All figures quoted as subscriptions pertain to single copy subscription sales only.


  • BBC Magazines is the UK's third largest consumer magazine publisher, selling over 90m magazines in 2005/06 – i.e. 170 every minute. One in four adults reads a BBC title every month.


  • BBC Magazines increased profit for 20005/06 to £19.3m. 


  • Internationally, we have 25 licenses to more than 40 territories including Good Food, olive, Teletubbies, Top Gear, Top of the Pops, Girl Talk and Fimbles.           


  • Radio Times is the BBC's longest-running commercial activity, launched in 1923 and the UK's most valuable magazine brand. 


  • BBC magazines are distributed through Frontline Ltd, a joint venture with Emap and Haymarket. This partnership was extended in 2005 to include H Bauer, making Frontline the UK's market-leading magazine distribution company.                     


  • Over 600,000 people currently subscribe to a BBC magazine.


  • Through a very successful joint venture with Haymarket Publishing, BBC Magazines' annual exhibitions extend the enjoyment of its leading magazine brands for readers of titles such as Good Food, Good Homes and Gardeners' World – attracting over 372,000 visitors during the last year.


  • In India, BBC Worldwide owns 50% of the Times of India's magazines subsidiary including its two best-selling titles, Film Fare and Femina. In August 2005, Top Gear magazine launched in India marking the first BBC magazine from the joint venture.


  • BBC Magazines is committed to minimising any impact of its operations on the environment. Six of our titles are printed on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper, which is sourced from well-managed forests.





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Date : 17.08.2006
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