MAGAZINE ABCs: Style at Home builds momentum in homes sector

IPC Media's May 2011 launch, Style at Home, has achieved a 36.6% period-on-period increase in its second set of ABCs, while Kelsey Publishing's GoodHomes reported the highest year-on-year rise.

Ideal Home retained its position as the market leader of the home interest sector
Ideal Home retained its position as the market leader of the home interest sector

Style at Home, a £1.99 monthly, was piloted for three months from February 2011 to target women who take a budget approach to home renovating, before the launch proper.

Its circulation in the second half of 2011 was 71,806, up from 52,576 in the first half of 2011.

It is nipping at the heels of Kelsey Publishing’s GoodHomes, which reported the highest year on year rise in circulation in the homes sector.

GoodHomes had a monthly circulation of 76,113 copies in the last six months of 2011, up 26% year on year and up 3.6% period on period.

GoodHomes, which Kelsey acquired from BBC Magazines in 2009, cut its cover price from £3.30 during the last six months of 2010 to £1.99.

IPC’s Country Homes & Interiors reported the second highest year on year rise in circulation, up 7.8% to 97,286 copies, and was also up 5.1% period on period.

IPC Media dominates the women’s home interest sector and its portfolio recorded a 45% share of the market in the final six months of 2011, ahead of the 42.5% share it reported in the final six months of 2010.

Jackie Newcombe, managing director of IPC Southbank, said Country Homes & Interiors’ success was because it was a "zeitgeist brand" which has "really captured the imagination of its readership".

The luxury end of the market performed strongly. Hearst Magazines UK’s Elle Decoration had an average monthly circulation of 70,376 copies in the second half of 2011, up 2.7% year on year and flat (0.1% up) on the period.

House & Garden, the Condé Nast magazine, had an average monthly circulation of 127,311 copies in the final six months of 2011, flat both year on year (up 0.2%) and period on period (0.0%).

BBC Gardeners' World, published by Immediate Media (the new home of BBC Magazines), is the biggest title in the overall homes and gardening sector with an average circulation of 216,620 copies in the final six months of 2011, up 2.0% year on year but down 18.4% on the period reflecting the seasonal nature of the magazine.

Dom Murray, publishing director, London specialist, Immediate Media, said: "We’ve put a lot into strengthening and reinvigorating the magazine. Spring 2011 was our 20th anniversary and we’ve had a year of activity."

Murray said BBC Gardeners' World recorded its highest ever total subscriptions figure in the final six months at 157,877 buoyed by its specialist subscription edition of the magazine.

IPC Media launched a new title in the sector, Style at Home, in spring last year and in the last six months of 2011 it had a monthly circulation of 71,806, up 36.6% on its first ABC figure for the period January to June 2011.

Ideal Home retained its position as the market leader of the home interest sector with an average circulation of 195,442 copies in the second half of 2011, although this was down 3.7% year on year and down 5.0% period on period.

Newcombe said Ideal Home (which is targeted at the mid-market) performed well against its competitors. House Beautiful, which is published by Hearst Magazines UK, had a circulation of 132,962, down 19.5% year on year 7.1% on the half year.

In fact, bar Elle Decoration, Hearst Magazine’s home magazines did not perform particularly well. Country Living’s circulation of 191,599 represented a year on year fall of 6.9% and Coast’s circulation of 40,464 was down 5.1% year on year.

Amy King, head of press investment, MPG Media Contacts, said Hearst has had a "bit of a hit" and said she would be "interested to find out what they are planning to do to bring that around".

King said: "It’s very important to be seen as a brand and have a strong brand position. These sorts of titles really lend themselves to digital brand extensions. Hearst needs to do a lot of work on its digital offerings."

Top home magazines
Title Publisher Dec End Prd/prd Yr/yr
    2011 change change
BBC Gardeners' World  Immediate Media Company 216,620 -18.4% 2.0%
Ideal Home  IPC Media 195,442 -5.0% -3.7%
Country Living  Hearst Magazines 191,599 -7.0% -6.9%
Homes & Gardens  IPC Media 138,868 0.8% 1.1%
House Beautiful  Hearst Magazines 132,962 -7.1% -19.5%
Your Home  Hubert Burda Media UK 131,770 -0.9% 1.6%
House & Garden  Conde Nast Publications 127,311 0.0% 0.2%
Wallpaper  IPC Media 105,328 n/a -2.7%
25 Beautiful Homes  IPC Media 100,045 -7.3% -7.2%
Living etc  IPC Media 98,143 1.1% 1.7%
Country Homes and Interiors  IPC Media 97,286 5.1% 7.8%
GoodHomes  Kelsey Publishing 76,113 3.6% 26.0%
Style At Home  IPC Media 71,806 36.6% n/a
Elle Decoration  Hearst Magazines 70,376 0.1% 2.7%

An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly that Country Homes and Interiors was the biggest riser in the sector.

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