Monday, 7 July 2014

Photographic Magazines: Circulation Figures for 2013

The sales of photographic magazines continue to fall (see my post of 22 March 2013) along with virtually all magazines in the UK. Owners, editors and employess must be asking themselves, where will it all end?

Of those magazines audited by ABC, the year on year fall in circulation for photographic titles in the second half of 2013 was, starting with the worst: Digital SLR Photography -31.5%; Practical Photography -13.5%; Digital Camera Magazine -11.7%; Digital Photographer -11%; Amateur Photographer -9.9%; Digital Photo -5.6%. I do not know the circulation figures for other magazines that are not covered  by ABC, like Advanced Photographer.

The average change in sales of all UK magazines was -6.3%, so that photographic magazines, in general, performed worse than that.

Average sales for the monthly magazines ranged from 7,504 for British Journal of Photography (no figures available for year-on-year change) to 35,281 for Digital Photo. The average sale for the weekly, Amateur Photographer, was 15,505. 

Just as worrying for editors must be the result of the survey published in Amateur Photographer on 5 July. Yes, I know it is a self-selected group of readers responding but 52% said that they had been readers of AP for less than one year. No wonder the articles are at such a low level. But do the results of that survey also show that AP is not retaining its readership beyond the beginner stage, or that people stay in amateur photography, like most hobbies, for just a short time, or both? The ‘All New AP’ launched a couple of weeks ago is presumably an attempt to decrease or reverse the downward trend. Will it succeed? On its present showing I doubt it.

If magazine sales are falling, were are people getting their information? Even a basic photography book provides more information than a run of magazines but are people buying books? Or relying on the internet for information/misinformation?