ABC SPECIAL: Home interest market picks up (Homes/gardens)

Publishers across the home interest market believe there has been a pick-up across the sector, one of the toughest in the magazine world, despite the shock of BBC World­wide's decision in April to offload BBC Good Homes.

NatMags' House Beautiful, down 6.8% period on period
NatMags' House Beautiful, down 6.8% period on period

BBC Gardeners' World is still leading the sector, with a circulation of 266,179, a rise of more than 20% period on period. The magazine's publisher, Dominic Murray, says: "The magazine marketplace remains a tough environment and the performance of BBC Gardeners' World reflects the difficult news-stand trading conditions."

Murray points to initiatives such as "grow your own" and the Gardeners' World Awards, which have raised the brand's awareness.

Hamish Dawson, publishing director of IPC's 100-year-old weekly title Amateur Gardening, believes there is some stability across the market, particularly for those that offer quality editorial.

IPC's Ideal Home remained ahead of NatMags' Country Living and House Beautiful, although Country Living was the only one of the trio not to suffer a double-digit year- on-year fall. Deborah Barker, editorial director at IPC titles Homes & Gardens and 25 Beautiful Homes, says IPC "has adapted the content of its titles and created more budget-conscious editorial".

She adds: "It has been a challenging year, but the market does appear to be picking up."

A spokesman for NatMags, meanwhile, reports the homes market is one of the most difficult in the industry, but highlights the fact that subscriber numbers for its upmarket title Country Living, at 81,084, make up 42% of its total circulation of 192,475, which was up 1.7% period on period.

BBC Magazines' Homes & Antiques suffered a torrid ABC, falling 36.5% year on year and 28.2% period on period to register a circulation of 54,083.

Its erstwhile sister title, Good Homes, which was taken over by Kelsey Publishing from its August issue, fell 23% year on year to a circulation of 90,429.

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