ABC Results: publisher reaction

The ABC yesterday released the consumer magazine circulation results for the January – June 2021 period and publishers have responded with their interpretation of the figures.

ABC Results: publisher reaction
BBC Gardeners’ World magazine recorded a combined circulation of 301,026, up 36% year-on-year.

Below are statements about their ABC results from: Bauer Media, Dennis Publishing and Immediate Media.

Bauer Media UK

  • Subscription growth continues, with total subscriptions up 41.8% YOY and 14.9% POP, and print subscriptions up 29.3% YOY and 9.7% POP.
  • Digital circulation more than doubled YOY, up 111.1%, and is up 37.4% POP.
  • Garden Answers and Garden News celebrate a further surge in subscriptions and newsstand sales versus the previous period
  • Grazia records POP and YOY increases with digital copies up 87.3% YOY
  • TV Choice continues to sell over one million copies each week

Commenting on the January-July 2021 results, Chris Duncan, Bauer Media UK’s CEO of UK Publishing, said: “We’re pleased to see a strong competitive performance and a continued upward trend in subscriptions and in digital circulation. This reflects not only the consumer trends accelerated by the pandemic but the work we’ve undertaken to bring our long-term strategy to life and our continued investment in editorial excellence.”

“Despite continued disruption for the industry, Bauer Media UK will once again provide full transparency to our buying community by publishing our audited sales. We’re committed to creating world-class solutions for our partners to communicate with our diverse and scalable audiences. This includes innovations like Bauer Illuminate, a data-led targeted advertising solution providing exclusive and brand safe access to first-party data gathered from Bauer’s digital environments which we launched just last month.”

Highlights this period:

TV Listings

TV Choice 1,035,403; Total TV Guide 78,732

  • Trusted TV listings bible TV Choice (weekly) remains the UK’s No 1 selling title, selling over one million copies each week.
  • Total TV Guide (weekly) records an ABC of 78,732 average copies circulated each week. Print subscriptions increased to 14,236, up 12.1% POP and 35.0% YOY.


Take a Break 337,688; Take a Break Monthly 159,859; that’s life 141,933

  • Take a Break (weekly) remains the UK’s best-selling women’s weekly magazine, with 337,688 copies circulated each week.
  • Take a Break Monthly records an ABC of 159,859 average copies circulated each month. Print subscriptions increased to 8,775, up 68.8% POP and a massive 596.4% YOY.
  • that’s life! (weekly), with 141,933 copies circulated each week.


This market remains a large special intertest market that is being sustained through the COVID19 pandemic with our brands celebrating growth both on newsstand and subscriptions.

Garden Answers 70,391; Garden News 43,507

  • Garden Answers (monthly) achieved its 16th consecutive YOY ABC increase to 70,391 average copies circulated, up an impressive 20.8% POP and 38.3% YOY. Total subscriptions increased to 55,171; up 26.4% POP and 62.2% YOY.
  • Garden News (weekly) also increased its ABC to 43,507 average copies circulated, up 9.8% POP and 15.2% YOY. Total subscriptions increased to 19,685; up 11.1% POP and 31.9% YOY.

Women’s Weekly Classics

Bella 127,781

  • Bella (weekly) remains number one in the Women’s Weekly Classics market.
  • Bella saw digital growth of 4.4% POP.

Celebrity Weeklies

Closer 97,424; heat 70,010

  • Closer (weekly) retains its position as number two in the celebrity market recording double digit digital growth of 14.9% POP and 27.4% YOY.
  • Closer saw a total subscription increase of 23.5% YOY.
  • Closer recently launched The Boost, a new platform supported by Closer with an Instagram presence and content within the print magazine. It covers every aspect of wellbeing with tips, info and inspiration from influencers, real people, celebs and experts.
  • heat (weekly) enjoyed digital growth of 42.8% POP and 77.2% YOY and continues to grow on YouTube launching the third series of “Under the duvet” in partnership with Voxi.
  • Between January to June 2021 on Apple News, heat reached over 15 million unique users, had nearly 150,000 unique issue downloads and counted 1.8 million minutes of engagement time from premium subscribers.


Grazia, 86,413

  • Grazia (fortnightly) has posted another circulation growth with an ABC figure of 86,413, an increase of 0.9% on the last period and up 6.6% YOY. The title also built on its digital growth showing an increase of 23.1% POP and 87.3% YOY.
  • The Juggle, Grazia’s new social parenting community, continues to thrive after its January launch with top-performing Instagram posts seeing over 2,300 likes. As well as supporting mums with useful advice and some light relief, The Juggle also launched a petition for an independent review into childcare funding and affordability. This was later debated in Parliament after 100,000 people signed the petition in just one week.
  • Grazia has shown innovation in the beauty category by hosting virtual events and launching a brand-new podcast. In February, Grazia hosted its first virtual skincare festival, “Grazia Skin Sessions” in partnership with L’Oreal Skinceuticals – a week of Zoom webinars on all things skincare with some of the most well-respected experts and beauty influencers. Grazia’s Beauty Life Lessons podcast, has already had expert guests including Lorna Luxe and Jamie Genevieve within the first 6 months.
  • In the six months between January to June 2021 on Apple News, Grazia reached over 22 million unique users, had just under 100,000 unique issue downloads and counted 1.3 million minutes of engagement time from premium subscribers.


Yours 175,500

  • Yours continues to be the UK’s best-selling fortnightly lifestyle magazine for women over 50, with an average circulation of 175,500 copies per issue.
  • Readers loyalty to the brand meant that print subscriptions have grown by 4.4% POP and 15.9% YOY.
  • The title has also increased its digital circulation with increases of 7.9% POP and 18.5% YOY.

Dennis Publishing

UK’s Biggest Children’s Magazine The Week Junior Breaks 100k Circulation Milestone

  • Weekly news magazine for children reports average circulation of 100,916 in Jan-June ABC release
  • The Week Junior Science+Nature releases first ever ABC results with a circulation figure of 30,057
  • MoneyWeek sees combined total circulation increase of 92.6% YoY taking it to 54,878
  • The Week sees increase in print subscriptions taking it to 160,986 combined

In a year like no other, Dennis’ Current Affairs portfolio has demonstrated its strong position within the market, with more and more consumers turning to the titles to provide a balanced approach to the events around them.

The Week Junior

The Week Junior, Dennis’ multi award-winning weekly news magazine for children, has seen a 17.9% year-on-year increase in circulation taking its average figure to 100,916.

The magazine was launched in 2015 and has seen strong circulation growth each year. The title launched in the US in early 2020, and has proven to be a hit with American children, quickly becoming the most successful magazine launch in the States in the last ten years. US circulation has also exceeded 100,000.

The Week Junior Science+Nature

The Week Junior Science+Nature, the award-winning monthly magazine that brings science, technology, engineering and maths to life for 8–15 year olds, has released its first ABC figure, with an impressive average monthly circulation of 30,057.

Each issue of the magazine is packed full of amazing facts, breathtaking images, activities and experiments. In April 2021, the editorial team launched a podcast, Mysteries of Science.

Anna Bassi, Editorial Director of The Week Junior said: “I’m delighted that The Week Junior continues to attract new readers whilst retaining long-term subscribers. The success of its sister title – Science+Nature – further demonstrates the excellence of our editorial. We strive to provide children with magazines that they genuinely love to read, and seeing strong results like this shows that the hard work of our talented editorial team is paying off.”


MoneyWeek, the UK’s best-selling financial magazine, reported a combined total circulation of 54,878, a PoP increase of 61.4% and a YoY increase of 92.6%. This was buoyed by the title being able to claim digital subscriptions and bundles for the first time, and print subscriptions also saw an increase of 3.4% PoP - the first increase since December 2019.

The Week

The Week, the weekly magazine that tells you all you need to know about everything that matters, reported an increase in its print circulation, taking it to 132,143, and a combined average weekly circulation of 160,986. Its balanced reporting of world events during a particularly turbulent news year has enabled it to maintain its strong position within its sector.

Kerin O’Connor, CEO of The Week said: “We’re very pleased with the strong performance across all our brands. Every single title of our portfolio showed positive growth, and demonstrated the remarkable strength of their unique editorial appeals. It’s been a delight to see The Week Junior grow over the years. This new ABC of 100,916 strengthens its position as the UK’s best selling children’s magazine. MoneyWeek’s digital success shows plenty of potential for further growth. Our reader retention has been particularly strong through the pandemic.”

Immediate Media Co

Strong annual ABC growth for Immediate’s market-leading special interest brands

  • 13% overall annual growth for reporting titles
  • Double digit growth for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine & BBC Good Food
  • Digital editions increase by 50% year-on-year
  • Print & Digital subscriptions up 20% year-on-year

Immediate Media Co, the special interest content and platform company, has posted strong year-on-year circulation growth, its fourth consecutive period-on-period increase, confirming the on-going strength its trusted brands focused on enhancing their readers’ passions, promoting well-being and happiness.

Immediate posted a combined print and digital circulation of 1,045,575, for titles reporting January to June 2021, up 13% year-on-year, and continues to be the UK’s leading publisher for subscriptions with 1.2m subscribers*, up 20% year-on-year.

As we start to emerge from the pandemic, Immediate’s brands have continued to grow audiences across all platforms, as consumers turn to its trusted brands for inspiration and advice as participation in gardening, cooking and TV has grown exponentially.

Highlights include:

  • BBC Gardeners’ World magazine recorded a combined circulation of 301,026, up 36% year-on-year
  • BBC Good Food posted a combined circulation of 194,471, up 23% year-on-year
  • olive magazine’s circulation rose to 42,325, up 24% year-on-year
  • Radio Times posted a combined circulation of 461,164, -1.6% year-on-year, its best annual performance under Immediate ownership

Tom Bureau, Immediate Executive Chairman, says: “These figures once again illustrate the strength of our portfolio. Our high-quality content focused on our audience’s passions has proved evermore popular during pandemic and as we’ve unlocked, as people look to our trusted brands to guide and inspire them. Immediate has seen growth across all our platforms enabling us to launch new products and services to our growing audience as we continue our transformational development.”

Detailed Highlights

  • Immediate’s combined print and digital circulation of 1,045,575 up 13% year-on-year
  • Print circulation was 967,692, up 11% year-on-year
  • Digital circulation was 77,883, up 50.4% year-on-year
  • Immediate is the number one publisher in the UK for subscriptions with 1.2m subscribers, up 20% year-on-year.

BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

  • Combined circulation of 301,026, up 36% year-on-year.
  • BBC Gardeners’ World magazine’s May issue, which was the highest ever revenue generating edition on the brand’s history, achieving £1.44m in RSV.
  • In the last year subscriptions to BBC Gardeners’ World magazine have increased by 55%.

Chris Kerwin, Group Managing Director, says: “For the market leading gardening magazine BBC Gardeners’ World to have grown at 36% year-on-year to again reach a circulation of over 300,000 copies is extraordinary and testament to all the hard work of the team throughout the pandemic. The May issue remains one of the most important moments every year on the magazine newsstand and our subscriptions growth has been stellar. Add to that the digital growth we’ve seen in the same period shows that BBC Gardeners’ World really is a brand that is firing on all cylinders!”

Food media

Immediate retains its position as the leading food media publisher in the UK:

  • BBC Good Food posted a combined circulation of 194,471, up 23% year-on-year
  • BBC Good Food magazine subscriptions increased by 23% year-on-year
  • BBC Good Food Home Cooking series rose by 15% year-on-year, with a combined circulation of 21,489.
  • olive magazine’s circulation rose to 42,325, up 24% year-on-year
  • Easy Cook’s combined circulation was 25,100, up 3.5% annually

Simon Carrington, BBC Good Food Commercial Director, says: “We’re delighted that BBC Good Food has built on the growth we achieved last year and delivered yet another stellar ABC, and continues to be the market leader in the Food sector, with a 58% share of the market. We’ve listened to our audience and adapted the magazine to suit the changing needs of the reader and delighted that sales have grown accordingly. Olive has been a real success for us in recent years with its fourth consecutive year of ABC growth. We relaunched the magazine in January this year, introducing an elegant look with a real focus on everyday food and lifestyle content. The fact that our ABC has grown period-on-period as well as year-on-year just shows how well received the changes have been received by existing and new readers.”

Radio Times

  • The UK’s best-selling quality magazine, posted a combined circulation of 461,164, down -1.6% year-on-year, its best annual performance under Immediate ownership.
  • Radio Times continues to be the best-selling UK magazine brand by subscription, with 272,624 subscribers, up 9% year-on-year.

Zoe Helme, Radio Times Publisher, comments: “In these extraordinary times, Radio Times has achieved its best annual performance in over ten years. During the pandemic Radio Times has become even more important to our readers and with more people spending time at home we have brought new audiences to the brand looking for inspiration and guidance on what to watch.”

* Includes print and digital editions of Immediate Media Co brands, and BBC Top Gear Magazine, published under contract for BBC Studios, plus titles not audited in this period.

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