Only some magazines publish a six monthly figure, the rest (who are registered with ABC that is) do it once a year. For the seven I have, the data is as follows:
Circulation for the six months ending June 2010
Classic Rock 70,323 (Dec 2009: 71,242, Jul 2009: 70,310) 12 month change +0.0%
Kerrang! 44,013 (Dec 2009: 41,125, Jul 2009: 43,253) 12 month change +1.8%
Metal Hammer 44,034 (Dec 2009: 41,777, Jul 2009: 46,004) 12 month change -4.3%
Mojo 91,678 (Dec 2009: 98,484, Jul 2009: 97,722) 12 month change -6.2%
NME 33,875 (Dec 2009: 38,846, Jul 2009: 40,984) 12 month change -17.3%
Q 89,450 (Dec 2009: 94,811, Jul 2009: 100,172) 12 month change -10.7%
Uncut 74,067 (Dec 2009: 75,518, Jul 2009: 76,526) 12 month change -3.2%
So, the metal mags are doing OK. Kerrang! has bounced back a bit after a couple of years of steep decline. Mojo and Uncut are drifting while Q continues its inexorable fall (it was selling more than 200,000 copies an issue 9 years ago)
The big story is NME. I thought the relaunch was a move in the right direction – more actual writing and a wider focus away from its indie rock staple. But the circulation figures are horrendous. They’ve halved in three years! It can only be a matter of months before IPC put it out of its misery at this rate.
The relaunch was needed. It was desperately poor before. As an outlet for music news it could never compete with the web, so more in depth pieces was the way to go. But I think that just drove away more of its low-attention span indie obsessed readers while failing to re-attract many of those who’d already given up on it. It looks like there’s no way back now and a web-only future beckons.
Record Mirror, Sounds, Melody Maker – all gone. The heyday of the music weeklies is now just a sentimental memory for those of us old enough to remember it.