Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

BBC Worldwide Press Releases

BBC Magazines up 5.5% in July-December ABC results

BBC Magazines has delivered another strong performance in the latest ABC release (July-December 2010) with circulations across the portfolio up 5.5% period on period, delivering year on year growth of 0.5% - the only one of the UK's top five consumer magazine publishers to have achieved year on year growth in this set of results. Subscriptions to BBC magazines are also at an all-time high of 904,867.

Highlights from BBC Magazines' results:

Lonely Planet Magazine delivers another impressive circulation increase, up 33.4% year on year, at 60,106, retaining its position as the number one actively purchased travel magazine in the UK;

Radio Times retains its market-leading position as the best-selling quality listings title, with its circulation up 1.4% period on period, at 960,839, down 4.0% year on year. This means that in this ABC period, Radio Times is the UK's number one magazine in terms of retail sales value and the number one weekly subscription magazine.

Across BBC Magazines' food titles, olive is up 9.3% period on period and up 2.9% year on year, with a circulation of 96,034; Good Food is up 8.6% period on period, down 5.5% year on year at 332,198. Good Food retains its position as the market-leading paid-for food title;

In the off-peak season for gardening, market-leader Gardeners' World retains a strong circulation at 212,439 down slightly year on year (-2.1%);

Top Gear magazine is up 0.6% period on period, at 191,539, down slightly year on year (-4.6%), but firmly retaining its position as the UK's market-leading paid-for motoring title;

All of BBC Magazines' specialist factual titles, published by BBC Magazines Bristol, have increased their year on year circulations, with BBC History Magazine up 7.2 % year on year at 69,353, science title Focus up 0.6% year on year at 72,183 and Countryfile magazine up by an impressive 30.5% year on year, at 36,333;

Among BBC Magazines' children's titles, ZingZillas magazine's debut ABC is an impressive 52,037; CBeebies Weekly delivers another strong ABC of 54,345, stable year on year (up 0.3%); and Doctor Who Adventures magazine sees an impressive increase of 26.8% year on year, at 56,648;

BBC Magazines retains its position as the UK publisher with the highest number of subscriptions, with subs to BBC titles at 904,867.

BBC Worldwide's magazine-related websites have also delivered strong ABCe results: now has 3.7m unique users, more than double the last audited figure of 1.7m unique users; has 3.9m unique users, making over 36m page impressions; and now has 1.5m unique users, with 22.7m page impressions, a 67.5% increase between June and December 2010.

Peter Phippen, MD of BBC Magazines, said: "BBC Magazines has delivered another strong set of ABC results, showing growth for the second successive period and, of the UK's top five publishers, we are the only company to have shown year on year growth. The market – and the weather –have proved challenging to magazine publishers over the past six months but once again BBC Magazines' brands have shown resilience and, in many cases, fantastic growth, with the whole portfolio up 5.5% period on period."



ABC Jul-Dec 2010

ABC Jul –Dec 2009

Change YOY

Change POP

Good Food










Easy Cook*





BBC Home Cooking Series





*Frequency change meant 4 issues this year in the period versus only 3 last year.

Alfie Lewis, Publishing Director, BBC Food Group:
"The Good Food brand goes from strength to strength and it's great to see Good Food outperforming the women’s lifestyle category, up 8.6% period on period and continuing to lead the market despite more competition than ever. We continue to invest in new formats, extending the brand whenever and whenever its fans want to find it. The success of the website in reaching 3.7 million unique users shows the power and further reach of the brand and our latest innovation is the beautiful new iPad version of the magazine, which is receiving terrific ratings and reviews in the apple store.

Easy Cook was the first in the practical end of the cookery marketplace. Since then we have seen enough of a market develop so that we are pleased to announce we will have 10 issues per year from 2011. The ABC average circulation decline is a result of the frequency changes. In this period we have actually sold almost 10,000 more copies of Easy Cook than we did in July to December 2009, with an increase of 3.9%.

With many magazines there is often a hidden story behind an ABC circulation increase, but olive’s achievement in recording a fourth year on year circulation increase is down to listening to our readers and shaping our editorial around their needs. This was highlighted by our groundbreaking reader generated issue from August, which was up 20% year on year.  We are now within touching distance of achieving a 100,000 circulation, our long term aim."



ABC Jul-Dec 2010

ABC Jul –Dec 2009

Change YOY

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Lonely Planet





Dominic Murray, Publishing Director, Lonely Planet Magazine:
"Lonely Planet Magazine, the UK’s number one actively-purchased travel title, continues to go from strength to strength. It is still the UK’s fastest-growing monthly magazine year-on-year with an ABC of 60,106, up 33.4% year on year and 9.9% period on period. UK and export newsstand, and subscription sales are all growing - as is the travel category as a whole - reflecting the additional demand we are generating. This result and in particular the ongoing commitment from our loyal subscribers (now over 30,000, and up 46% year on year) is our reward for continuing to invest in unique editorial content, genuine added-value and innovative marketing."



ABC Jul-Dec 2010

ABC Jul –Dec 2009

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Radio Times





Kathy Day, Publishing Director, Radio Times:
"This ABC period sees Radio Times pull off an amazing double, delivering more retail sales value than any other magazine, and being the UK's biggest-selling weekly magazine on subscription.

Radio Times' ABC is 960,839, up 1.4% period on period and down 4.0% year on year.

This ABC period sees Radio Times grow its share of the premium TV listings sector for the 13th consecutive period to a massive 61.1%. Radio Times now outsells the rest of the premium titles put together by 349k copies. I'm also delighted that Radio Times retains its position as the biggest selling UK weekly magazine on subscription, increasing subs year on year by 9.1% to 190k.

The magazine's success is reflected across the brand as our digital products go from strength to strength. has increased unique users by 6.8% to 1,512,670, with page impressions up a whopping 67.5% to 22.67m per month. In addition Radio Times is now available on EPGs in nearly 4m homes, reaching 11m viewers via our partnerships with Inview and Rovi, and sales of the RT iPhone app have reached 48k."



ABC Jul-Dec 2010

ABC Jul –Dec 2009

Change YOY

Change POP

Gardeners' World





Dominic Murray, Publishing Director, Gardeners' World:
"Gardeners' World magazine delivers another robust circulation performance keeping us way out in front as paid-for leader in this market. We have continued to innovate successfully with issues such as the August 'Q+A Special' performing particularly well. It is an exciting time for the brand overall with the return of Monty Don as lead presenter, and his home garden a new location for the TV programme. A refreshed design for the magazine will be revealed in our special 20th anniversary issue in March. The changes were made following extensive research with our readers and bring a clearer, renewed focus on practicality and navigation, making sure we really deliver for our core gardening audience. We're in great shape as we move forward into this next key gardening season."



ABC Jul-Dec 2010

ABC Jul –Dec 2009

Change YOY

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Top Gear





Simon Carrington, Top Gear Magazine Publisher:
"We are very pleased to have delivered a positive ABC figure for this period. Today's result means Top Gear is now the UK's second-biggest selling men's monthly magazine. Combined with the NRS numbers, which show that we still have more readers than any other men's monthly, this demonstrates that Top Gear magazine's blend of entertainment and information continues to be a hit with the readers. We are also pleased that we have maintained our market leadership and that the monthly motoring magazine sector is stable.

"Subscriptions to Top Gear magazine are now just short of 60,000, a fantastic achievement and further proof that male magazine consumers can be targeted successfully with a strong product that meets their needs.

"New editor Charlie Turner has overseen a significant new look for Top Gear, delivering content that we believe the readers will love and that gives us a platform for further growth in 2011."

Pre-school titles


ABC Jul-Dec 2010

ABC Jul –Dec 2009

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CBeebies Weekly





CBeebies Animals





CBeebies Art





CBeebies Specials (monthly










Pauline Cooke, Publisher, BBC pre-school Magazines:
"I'm very pleased that circulation figures for BBC Magazines’ Pre-school portfolio, as whole, are up 40,020 period on period (9.8%) and up 67,789 year on year (17.8%).

"The increase is mainly due to the successful launch of ZingZillas magazine last summer, which delivered an impressive debut ABC of 52,037. CBeebies Weekly maintains its position as the best selling pre-school magazine in terms of total volume across the period, with stable circulation period on period, and up slightly year on year, at 54,345.  All titles in the CBeebies magazine stable - CBeebies Weekly, CBeebies Art and CBeebies Specials - have had a very positive year, with Art posting a 3.3% increase period on period despite a price rise.

"I'm also very excited to announce the forthcoming launch of Something Special magazine next month, a new four-weekly title based on the immensely popular CBeebies programme, featuring the lovable Mr Tumble."

Pre-teen titles


ABC Jul-Dec 2010

ABC Jul –Dec 2009

Change YOY

Change POP

Doctor Who Adventures





Girl Talk





Top of the Pops





Match of the Day





Jaynie Bye, Joint MD, BBC Children’s Magazine:
"In this digital age it is really heartening to see that our top brands continue to have huge appeal with the pre-teen audience. In particular, I am delighted with the performance of Doctor Who Adventures magazine – up by an impressive 26.8% year on year – demonstrating the continuing strength of the title and the increased interested generated by Matt Smith in his role as the Doctor.

"Girl Talk retains its position as the market-leading pre-teen title for girls, with a healthy circulation of 67,959. While Top of the Pops is down year on year, it also retains its market leading position, with a strong circulation of 94,224, quite an achievement in this tough market, and during a period which has seen the closure of Sugar magazine.

"And finally, with an audited circulation of 58,447, I am very proud that our weekly title Match of the Day is now the market-leading children’s football magazine, less than three years since launch."



ABC Jul-Dec 2010

ABC Jul –Dec 2009

Change YOY

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Gardens Illustrated





BBC History





Homes & Antiques





BBC Music





BBC Wildlife





Jemima Ransome, Publisher, Countryfile Magazine:
"This has been a hugely successful six months for Countryfile Magazine, with circulation growth accelerating to an increase of over 30% year-on-year from an impressive 22% last period. The new-look magazine is clearly getting the mix just right, enjoying strong growth across both newsstand and subscriptions with a unique proposition that celebrates the best the British countryside has to offer. Countryfile Magazine is real ray of sunshine and an increasingly important platform for outdoor brands."

Jemima Ransome, Publisher, BBC Wildlife Magazine:
"This is a particularly pleasing performance from BBC Wildlife Magazine, with growth driven primarily by a 9.5% gain on the UK newsstand. In addition, subscription volumes continue to increase year on year. This is a rich reward for a title that prides itself on giving its readers the most informative writing of any consumer magazine in its field, accompanied by world-class photography and painstaking attention to detail."

Jemima Ransome, Publisher, Gardens Illustrated:
"Once again, Gardens Illustrated has bucked the traditional seasonal decline for garden titles, enjoying its fourth consecutive period of growth and proving the resilience of a premium brand in an otherwise challenging market. With its finger firmly on the pulse of the gardening world, Gardens Illustrated is an increasingly influential title and fast becoming the magazine of choice for stylish brands."

Andy Healy, Publisher, Homes & Antiques:
"The regeneration of Homes & Antiques has continued this year after a successful redesign, and it's great to see a year on year increase. Subscriptions are almost at the 30k mark, the highest in three years. This is a very significant increase and subs now account for almost 50% of the readership, which highlights the all-important loyalty factor. In a notoriously changeable market, this robust subs base gives us a perfect platform to grow further in 2011."

Andy Healy, Publisher, Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine:
"I'm delighted with this year-on-year increase of over 10%, which sees Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine become the number one genealogy title in the UK. This reflects the readers’ reactions to our redesign and constant improvement of the title. We continue to deliver great quality entertainment and importantly a magazine which is full of hints, tips and education - elements that are paramount for anyone wanting to delve into their family’s past and start, or further, their family trees. With more series of the hit TV show planned and the 2011 census rolling out, this year is shaping up to be a great one for this brand."

Andy Healy, Publisher, BBC History Magazine:
"This is BBC History Magazine’s tenth consecutive circulation rise representing a year-on-year increase of 7.2%. Subscription numbers are also at an all-time high proving we are consistently and by far the most popular history magazine in the market. This success is due in part to the outstanding editorial mix we give our readers - great stories, deeply researched, well-written, and clearly laid out. They also want history they are familiar with and can relate to, so our cover strategy has been to deliver well-known events in British history, but always with a new twist or angle. It’s important, relevant and enjoyable and I’m thrilled we've hit this landmark achievement."

Andrew Davies, Publisher, BBC Music Magazine:
"I'm very excited that BBC Music Magazine has shown growth this period to a very satisfying 42,843. This means that not only has BBC Music Magazine consolidated its position as the world's best-selling classical music magazine but it has also grown the gap and outperformed the rest of the market. A firm favourite with both its loyal readership and within the classical music industry both in the UK and the US, BBC Music Magazine is a truly multi-platform, international brand with a bright future."

Andrew Davies, Publisher, Focus:
"It is incredibly pleasing to see Focus continue to grow year-on-year thanks to our commitment to providing the very best mix of popular science and consumer technology. With increased subscriptions - up 13% year on year - Focus has a solid core of loyal readers that ensure it remains strong in even this most difficult sector. As well as being a successful period for Focus magazine it has also been a highly innovative one with the launch of our groundbreaking iPad edition, the continued success of our podcast and the publishing of our inaugural 'Focus Gadget Guide' bookazine. Building on this, we look forward to continue to serve our readers across a multitude of exciting platforms."

Andrew Davies, Publisher, Sky at Night Magazine:
"The only astronomy title to publish an audited figure, Sky at Night Magazine has shown excellent growth to achieve a record ABC posting of 21,975. A specialist magazine in the true sense of the word, Sky at Night's ongoing commitment to both the novice and experienced stargazer and its integral association with the iconic TV brand has made it the magazine of choice for the astronomy industry."


The total ABC figure for BBC Magazines for July-December 2010 is 3,110,197, an increase of 5.5% period on period (Jan-Jun 2010 = 2,948,235), and a slight increase year on year (+0.5%)

About BBC Magazines
BBC Magazines is the magazine publishing division of BBC Worldwide, the main commercial arm and wholly owned subsidiary of the BBC. It publishes over 40 BBC consumer titles, including Top Gear, Good Food, Gardeners' World and Radio Times and many children's titles including Doctor Who Adventures and CBeebies Weekly.

Sarah Williams-Robbins

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