Computing/Gadgets - Future remains bright for niche magazines in technology sectors

It should not take a techie to identify the single factor that dominates the technology and gadgets magazine sector - Future Publishing.

Future's multi-platform Games-Master magazine
Future's multi-platform Games-Master magazine

The technology specialist appears in six of the top eight rankings, with five computer gaming titles and one photography title.

That said, the highest-circulation technology title is Media Week owner Haymarket's Stuff, which sold 88,081 copies per month between January and June this year. However, the glossy gadget title saw year-on-year sales drop 5.1% and its period-on-period figures fall 9.1%.

Tom Dunmore, Stuff's brand director, remains bullish, despite the challenging market. He says: "It's a tough time on the news-stand, but Stuff has once again outperformed the market and we continue to gain market share and grow our subscriber base."

The title has introduced a number of innovations, including a compact version and greater investment in the Stuff.tv website. It has also expanded its global presence to 26 markets, including China, India and Morocco.

Future's multi-platform Games-Master magazine suffered a drop in circulation, falling 4.2% year on year, but the publisher's other console-specific titles experienced impressive rises. Of particular note, Official Nintendo Magazine and PSM3 saw double-digit year-on-year rises.

James Binns, Future's publishing director of games, says: "We are showing growth across all three console markets. Against a backdrop of struggling news-stand sales for men's lifestyle titles, our specialist approach has driven a rare growth story."

Future's Digital Camera also fared well, with year-on-year sales up 8.6%. Matt Pierce, group publisher of Future's digital creative portfolio, says: "In a very busy sector, it's pleasing that we're able to show growth. Our audiences are more affluent and older than those of other magazines - and that has insulated us in the current economic market."

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