ABC Market Summary Report: Jul- Dec 2016

ABC Market Summary Report

ABC titles account for 89.2% of volume and 72.8% of value sales in the total market, although only 269 of the 3,500 titles published in 2016 submitted to ABC. The high percentage share, when compared to the share of titles, reflects the mass market nature of ABC titles. The disparity between share of volume and value reflects the low priced, high volume characteristics of these audited titles.

The combined total ABC circulation for 2016 is 754 million, a decline of 3.5% YoY. UK newstrade volume saw a decline of 10.7% to 477.2 million. Whereas, subscriptions reported an impressive YoY growth of 11.7% and digital reported a staggering YoY increase of 53.2%.


In 2016 the UK ABC newstrade market was worth £773.2 million, which equates to copy sales of 477.2 million. 11.4% of all copies sold were at a discounted price in 2016, a smaller proportion than in 2015.

However, YoY the market saw a revenue drop of 9.8%, driven primarily by the Women’s Weeklies and Women’s Lifestyle/Fashion Sectors, both down 10.8% and 20.2% respectively.

The Home Interest sector is the only market to see YoY value growth in the JD16 period, driven by a new launch in Gardening. Revenues increased 2.4% to £9.1 million and a market share of 1.2%.


The overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Newspapers and Periodicals as of December 2016, stood at 105.6, a 5.6% increase compared to the previous year and finishing above overall CPI growth of 1.6%. This growth is significant when compared to the 1.2% rise in the year to November, which can be attributed to the price movement of many product groups, main contributors include rise in air fares and food.


164.4 million subscription copies were sold in 2016, dominated by the News & Current Affairs sector which held 45.3% market share and a YoY increase of 11.3% points. A big contribution was from The Economist – North America Edition, which has recorded 25.6 million subscriptions in its first ABC.

Children’s Magazines also saw an increase of 9% YoY, growing by over 6.8 million copies, led by First News. Radio Times dominated the TV Listings – UK sector, which had an increase of 3.8% to 16.2 million.



Export newstrade has decreased 7.7% YoY, now accounting for 21.3 million copies, mainly due to monthly titles which declined by 21.4% resulting in a 6.7% reduction in share of sale. In contrast, the weekly export titles have increased by 3.6% YoY.

Hello! remains the biggest selling export title, accounting for 8.8% of export sales, with 1.9 million copies. The Economist – North America Edition ranked second, with an export newstrade of 1.2 million copies.

News & Current Affairs has shown strong growth, exporting 5.4 million copies in 2016, compared to 5 million in 2015. This is driven by The Economist – North America, which did not appear in the previous period.

TV Listings exported 380k copies in 2016, up 11.4% from 341k copies in 2015. The sectors share of 1.8% is primarily driven by TV Times, Radio Times and What’s on TV.


ABC Breakdown

UK newstrade share of the Total ABC market stood at 65.6% in 2016, down 5.3% YoY, and export decreased its share by 0.1%. However, subscriptions share increased 3.1% YoY to 22.6%.

The relationship between UK newstrade, export newstrade, total subscriptions and ‘other’ ABC constituents varies by frequency and is detailed in the charts below.

abc breakdown

Source: Marketforce