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Magazines ABC Q1 2022: Finding the magic mix between print and digital distribution

With a steep increase from 4,510 to 125,912, the hero of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa Q1 2022 is digital magazines.
The hero of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa Q1 2022 is digital magazines
The hero of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa Q1 2022 is digital magazines

Contributing to the jump in digital magazine distribution are a number of titles that have changed sectors, including The Fire Protection, Supermarket & Retailer, SA Real Estate Investor, Civil Engineering, Rooi Vleis / Redmeat, and Wool Farmer / Wolboer, all of which changed sector from Business Print & Digital to Business Digital only.

Accountancy SA changed from Custom Print & Digital to Custom Digital only, and Spotong changed from Business Digital only to Business Print & Digital.

Magazines ABC Q1 2022: Finding the magic mix between print and digital distribution

In the rest of the categories, Free magazines are stable with a slight increase of 907 copies from Q4 2021, while Consumer, Custom and Business-to-Business magazines also remained relatively stable compared to Q1 2021.

“Whether this category can match 2021 like for like, quarter to quarter, increase numbers or stay stable remains to be seen,” says the ABC on the release of the figures.

“As publications find their magic mix between print and digital distribution, we might be in for some excitement and, who knows, maybe new ways of engaging consumers altogether,” says the ABC.

Consumer magazines

This quarter Consumer magazines could have been a carbon copy of Q4 2021. With scatterings of good news between a plethora of reporting changes and changed frequencies, the odd changed sector and ceased publication, Q1 2022 showed a marginal decrease of 1.7%, compared to Q4 2021.

The highlights for the quarter are Jewish Life, LIG, and Veeplaas, all of which boast double-figure increases on the previous quarter.

Magazines ABC Q1 2022: Finding the magic mix between print and digital distribution

The best-performing magazine group is Male with its only two publications, GQ, and Popular Mechanics - both with double figure increases on the previous quarter.

The Woman’s General group had three - Fair Lady, Glamour and True Love - out of its eight publications show increases on the previous quarter. Rooi Rose and Women & Home Magazine are new members in this group.

In the business and news group Finweek ceased publication.

Arts, Culture and Heritage
PublicationPeriodFrequencyFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Jewish LifeJan -MarMtly8,9708,97010.5%12.3%
Val de Vie MagazineJan -Mar2xA8,9009,348No SubmissionReporting Change
Business and News
Business BriefJan -MarAltM0No IssuesReporting Change
Financial MailJan -MarWkly, Fr2,44112,9071.2%-0.8%
FinweekJan -MarF0Ceased PublishingCeased Publishing
Forbes AfricaJan -MarAltM3,6329,567-7.2%Reporting Change
SA Real Estate Investor MagazineJan -MarMtly0Changed Sector
The Big Issue MagazineJan -MarMtly2666,662-6.6%Reporting Change
Conservation and Wildlife
African BirdlifeJan -MarAltM0No IssueReporting Change
Eat OutJan -DecAnn0Reporting Change
TV Plus (Afrikaans)Jan -MarF013,3171.1%-8.9%
TV Plus (English)Jan -MarF03,6817.0%-25.5%
Family Interest
HuisgenootJan -MarWkly, Th5,525126,659-2.4%-9.7%
LIGJan -Mar11xA65019,77312.7%-11.1%
Plus 50 Jan -Mar6xA7695,559-3.9%Reporting Change
The CrestJan -Mar7xA12,41012,410-2.8%Reporting Change
The RidgeJan -Mar8xA15,43015,430-4.3%Reporting Change
YouJan -MarWkly, Th4,11767,392-2.2%-7.4%
Farmer's WeeklyJan -MarWkly, Fr06,680-3.4%-16.8%
Grond tot MondJan -MarQ0No IssueReporting Change
LandbouweekbladJan -MarWkly, Th012,6881.0%-30.5%
Marktoe!Jan -MarMtly9,9009,900-7.4%0.0%
VeeplaasJan -Mar11xA2,3687,83330.6%-8.8%
Health & Wellbeing
Grow to EatJan -Mar3xA0No IssueReporting Change
Odyssey MagazineJan -MarQ1,4522,699-31.0%Reporting Change
Conde Nast House & GardenJan -MarMtly2,80111,693-1.9%Only 1 Issue
Easy DIYJan -MarQ2,9665,390-13.5%Reporting Change
Idees/IdeasJul -DecAltM0Reporting Change
Lose It,Jan -MarQ010,9950.0%Reporting Change
SA Home OwnerJan -Mar11xA2,10020,822-7.6%-9.6%
Sarie Kos / FoodJan -MarQ0No IssueReporting Change
The Gardener / Die TuinierJan -MarMtly4,11821,163-5.6%-21.7%
Tuis HomeJan -Mar8xA60473,8741.1%Changed Frequency
VisiJan -Mar6xA011,966-0.6%Reporting Change
Let’s Braai / Kom ons Braai (former The Ultimate Braai)Jul -JunAnn1107,6710.0%-45.2%
Silver Digest Jan -Mar4xA0No IssueReporting Change
GQJan -Mar5xA2,1915,45210.9%Reporting Change
Popular MechanicsJan -MarMtly1,95914,59220.2%No Submission
Very Interesting (former Braintainment)Jan -MarAltM0ResignedReporting Change
Bike SAJan -MarMtly2,58315,097-9.3%24.8%
CarJan -MarMtly13,10443,0870.0%-9.0%
Driven MagazineJan -MarMtly6,8156,815-51.7%No Submission
Baba & KleuterJan -MarQ07,265-36.1%Reporting Change
Baby's and BeyondJan -MarQ0No IssueReporting Change
Your Pregnancy and BabyJan -MarAltM6295,503-21.8%Reporting Change
AnimaltalkJan -MarMtly0Resigned
Dog DirectoryJul -JunAnn0Resigned
Sport and Hobby
Compleat GolferJan -MarMtly1,9775,951-5.0%6.2%
Kick OffJan -MarMtly010,352-17.7%-33.8%
MagnumJan -Mar8xA010,459-6.8%No Submission
SA RugbyJan -MarMtly2,43512,462-6.0%-22.0%
Wildland MagazineJan -MarMtly2,27366,0963.2%12.6%
Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
Cape EtcJan -Mar3xA3,2016,806-3.4%Reporting Change
GetawayJan -MarMtly3,15416,111-0.9%-15.8%
go! Drive & Camp and Weg! Ry & SleepJan -MarAltM27930,656-0.7%Changed Frequency
TravelIdeasJul -DecAltM0Reporting Change
Weg/Go PlattelandJan -MarQ021,6326.5%Reporting Change
Weg/GoJan -MarAltM37150,2081.7%Changed frequency
Woman's General
FairladyJan -MarAltM2,12338,6987.7%Reporting Change
Garden & Home MagazineJan -MarMtly2,21315,117-2.5%Reporting Change
Glamour,Jan -MarQ4,49112,8784.3%Reporting Change
KuierJan -MarF065,307-5.7%-12.5%
Rooi Rose MagazineJan -MarAltM2,49025,964New Member
SarieJan -MarAltM66962,348-5.1%Changed Frequency
True LoveJan -MarAltM7517,5874.2%Changed Frequency
Women & Home MagazineJan -MarMtly4,93828,167-0.2%New Member
Woman's Special
Wedding GuideJul -JunAnn0Changed Cycle
Barbie MagazineJul -Dec6Wk0Reporting Change
Careers MagazineJan -MarMtly0No Submission
Very Interesting JuniorJan -MarMtly0Resigned

B2B magazines

Generally, in the past, this grouping has performed well, but this quarter was a different story. Following the pattern set by Consumer magazines, B2B has a sprinkling of highlights with many changed frequencies, changed sectors and no issue.

The Architecture titles had two decreases on the previous quarter, two no issues, two no submissions and one resignation. And this could be said of many of the other sectors.

Even the Agricultural titles, which had three of its five titles show an increase over the previous quarter, had increased under 5%. Engineering – Other is a mixed bag with half of the eight titles showing an increase over the previous quarter and the rest showing declines. The best of this group is MechChem Africa with just over 10% increase over the previous quarter.

MIMS under Health and Wellbeing had the best showing with a 79.2% increase over the previous quarter.

Other stand outs in the B2B group include Resources, Lighting in Design, Construction World, Earthbroker, SA Business Integrator, and African Decisions.

PublicationPeriodFrequencyFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
OVK Nuus/NewsJan -Mar4xA4,955-3.3%Reporting Change
SA Graan / GrainJan -MarMtly21,2023.2%34.0%
SABI MagazineJan -MarAltM8522.5%Reporting Change
StockfarmJan -MarMtly7,1474.2%-2.1%
WinelandJan -MarMtly3,2280.0%-0.5%
earthworksJan -MarQNo IssueReporting Change
Floors in AfricaJan -Mar7xANo SubmissionReporting Change
Leading Architect & DesignJan -MarAltM7,052-2.1%Reporting Change
SA Building ReviewJan -MarAnn9,228-4.0%Reporting Change
Timber IQJan -MarAltMResignedReporting Change
To BuildJan -Mar3xANo IssueReporting Change
Walls & Roofs in AfricaJan -Mar7xANo SubmissionReporting Change
Road Ahead, TheJan -DecQReporting Change
Taxi GuardianJan -MarMtly465New Member
Civil Construction
Civil EngineeringJan -Mar11xAChanged Sector
Concrete TrendsJan -DecQReporting Change
Construction ReviewJul -DecAltMReporting Change
Construction WorldJan -MarMtly14,7396.6%23.0%
IMIESAJan -Mar11xA11,396-3.3%-12.7%
Spec HandbooksJan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
Nex MediaJul -Jun4xA57,0250.0%33.4%
SA ProfileJan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
ServiceJan -MarQ4,9520.1%New Member
The Gapp MagazineJan -MarAltM10,753Reporting Change
Electrical Engineering
Electricity & ControlJan -MarMtly12,2327.9%28.0%
ESI AfricaJul -JunQ2,5910.0%No Submission
Sparks Electrical NewsJan -MarMtly12,9717.4%27.8%
Engineering - Other
Capital Equipment NewsJan -MarMtly11,6948.8%28.1%
DataweekJan -MarMtly2,791-1.0%5.2%
MechChem AfricaJan -MarAltM8,88110.4%Reporting Change
Motion ControlJan -MarQ2,0100.1%Reporting Change
Plumbing AfricaJan -MarMtly9,7411.2%16.4%
Refrigeration and AirconditioningJan -MarMtly6,720-3.9%-22.3%
SA Instrumentation & ControlJan -MarMtly4,079-0.7%3.7%
Water & Sanitation AfricaJan -MarAltM6,857-1.0%Reporting Change
Health and Wellbeing
Fire ProtectionJan -MarQChanged SectorReporting Change
Hi-Tech Security SolutionsJan -Mar8xA4,055-1.5%11.2%
International Dentistry Africa EditionJul -DecAltMReporting Change
MDR Medical Desk ReferenceJan -DecAnnReporting Change
Medical ChronicleJan -Mar11xA23,901-2.5%74.0%
MIMSJan -MarMtly3,66679.2%-3.0%
Modern Medicine MagazineJan -MarAltM3,707-10.1%Reporting Change
SHEQ ManagementJul -DecAltMReporting Change
South African Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic ReviewJan -Mar11xA2,913-4.4%-3.3%
The Specialist Forum JournalJan -Mar11xA20,023-7.3%40.3%
Hospitality, Catering and Tourism
Explore South AfricaJan -DecQReporting Change
MeetingsJan -MarAltM4,850-3.0%Reporting Change
The Meetings & Event Planner (former SA Conference Directory)Jan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
Analytical ReporterJan -MarAltM5,422-4.3%Reporting Change
Cold Link AfricaJan -MarAltM4,3212.6%Reporting Change
Eastern Cape BusinessJul -JunAnn4,9420.0%-48.5%
Free State Business, Jan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
Gauteng CompaniesJul -JunAnn9,9430.0%1.1%
Industrial BuyerJan -MarAltMResignedReporting Change
Jewellers' Network Directory Jan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
KwaZulu Natal BusinessJul -JunAnn9,9410.0%1.8%
Lighting in DesignJan -MarQ6,31313.1%Reporting Change
Limpopo Business.,Jan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
LINKED by Jewellers NetworkJul -JunQ2,9260.0%No Submission
Mpumalanga Business.,Jan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
North West BusinessJul -JunAnn9,9440.0%No Submission
Northern Cape BusinessJul -JunAnn4,9430.0%-48.6%
Opportunity (Exploring Business Prospects in SA)Jan -MarQ4,931No Submission
ResourceJan -MarQ5,92110.4%Reporting Change
SA Affordable HousingJan -MarAltMResignedReporting Change
Smart Energy InternationalJan -MarAltMNo IssueReporting Change
South African BusinessJan -Mar2xANo IssueReporting Change
South African Food ReviewJan -Mar11xA4,487-3.3%-14.4%
The Responsible & Sustainable Tourism HandbookJan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
Western Cape Business,Jan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
Information and Computer Technology
BrainstormJan -Mar11xA8,8324.4%-0.3%
The MarginJan -MarQMergedReporting Change
African DecisionsJan -MarQ12,56419.5%Reporting Change
Black Business QuarterlyJan -MarQ45,050-56.5%Reporting Change
Blue Chip,Jan -MarQ7,417Reporting Change
FA NewsJan -MarAltM2,9251.2%Reporting Change
KZN InvestJan -MarQ5,439-3.9%Reporting Change
LeadershipJan -MarMtly45,632-6.8%Reporting Change
Money MarketingJan -MarMtly7,778-3.7%-10.5%
South African Business IntergratorJan -Mar2xA9,81911.2%Reporting Change
Top Women in Business & GovernmentJan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
Mining & Quarrying
African Mines HandbookJan -MarAnnNo IssueReporting Change
African Mining BriefJan -MarAltMResignedReporting Change
African Mining Inc. Mining MirrorJan -Mar11xA23,6254.7%4.4%
EarthbrokerJan -MarMtly8,07250.0%50.0%
Engineering News & Mining WeeklyJan -MarWkly, Fr13,42812.9%50.7%
Inside MiningJan -MarQ6,686No IssueReporting Change
Inside MiningJul -Jun4xA6,1580.0%Reporting Change
Mining Review AfricaJan -Mar11xAResignedNo Submission
Modern MiningJan -MarMtly12,1507.5%32.5%
Modern QuarryingJan -MarQ5,56814.0%Reporting Change
DIY And Industrial Trade NewsJan -MarMtly10,7867.4%14.6%
Pharmacy Magazine (former Frontshop)Jan -MarMtly18,463-7.3%90.5%
Spotong:Jan -MarAltM56,883Reporting Change
Supermarket and RetailerJan -MarMtlyChanged Sector
Transport and Logistics
Freight News FeaturesJan -MarMtly5,8392.1%10.8%

Custom magazines

If the B2B grouping is bleak for Q1 2022 then the Custom magazines group can only be described as depressing. The 15 sectors represent 41 titles in total and of these only 10 titles showed an increase over the previous quarter.

These increases ranged from 0.4% to 26.4%. However, most are below double figures, with many not even above the five per cent mark. Clubx with 10% and Fresh Living with 26.4% were lonely double figures in this grouping.

PublicationPeriodFrequencyFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Dairy Mail, TheJan -MarMtly2,2112,216-1.6%-37.3%
Rooi Vleis / Red Meat,Jul -DecAltMReporting ChangeReporting Change
Wolboer / Wool FarmerJan -MarAltMChanged SectorReporting Change
Health & Wellbeing
FitlifeJan -MarMtly23,259-5.5%-12.9%
Journal of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes SAJan -Mar3xA1,196-2.4%Reporting Change
SA Pharmaceutical JournalJan -Mar10xA5,473-18.0%Reporting Change
SA Pharmacist's Assistant (SAPA)Jan -MarQNo IssueReporting Change
South African Medical JournalJan -MarMtly9,2970.2%-4.2%
Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia &AnalgesiaJan -MarAltM2,1820.0%Reporting Change
Fresh Living Jan -MarQ48,27226.4%Reporting Change
Living SpaceJan -MarMtly32,755-6.0%-11.3%
My KitchenJan -MarMtly64,747-3.9%-6.1%
Industry Specific
Forum TydskrifJan -MarQNo IssueReporting Change
J S EJan -MarQ14,4710.4%Reporting Change
Sea RescueJan -Mar3xANo IssueReporting Change
ServamusJan -MarMtly8,576-4.9%-9.1%
In Flight MagazineJan -MarMtly23,579-17.5%No Submission
SkywaysJan -MarMtlyResigned
Private EditionJan -MarQNo IssueReporting Change
TasteJan -MarAltM33,1413.0%3.6%
ManJan -MarMtly43,1662.3%9.7%
TechJan -MarMtly30,998-4.1%-11.4%
Medical and Allied Health
Bounce (Formerly Bankmed)Jul -Jun3xAResignedResigned
Medi - Clinic FamilyJul -JunQResignedResigned
MotorJan -MarMtly14,665-9.3%-31.3%
Accountancy SAJan -Mar11xAChanged Sector
De RebusJan -Mar11xA18,769-0.5%-1.3%
The Journal Of The SAIMMJan -MarMtlyChanged SectorChanged SectorChanged Sector
Clicks Club CardJul -DecAltMReporting ChangeReporting Change
Club MagazineJan -MarMtly257,3971.7%0.1%
Jet ClubJan -Mar7xA282,0252.1%Reporting Change
Sport and Hobby
Game & Hunt/Wild & JagJan -MarMtly71,9835.0%22.2%
SA Hunter/JagterJan -Mar8xA31,984-4.7%No Submission
Soccer ClubJan -MarMtly43,199-0.1%-8.2%
Sports ClubJan -MarMtly82,8492.6%-0.6%
Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
EscapesJan -MarMtly18,321-5.5%-18.2%
PremierJan -MarMtly6,875-50.4%No Audit
Rove SAJan -Mar2xANo IssueNew Member
Woman's General
Balanced LifeJan -MarMtly46,602-3.6%-3.7%
ClubXJan -MarMtly80,89910.0%27.3%
Kids Super ClubJan -MarMtly63,037-3.8%-4.7%

Free magazines

While free might be king in the newspaper category, this is not true for the Free magazines grouping. There are only nine titles in this grouping, of which four saw an increase over the prior quarter, with the rest either showing no movement or a decline. The upside is that the grouping held steady.

Magazines ABC Q1 2022: Finding the magic mix between print and digital distribution

The best of the lot is Get It (Ballito to Umhlanga) by far with the other titles only managing increases under a per cent.

PublicationPeriodFrequencyTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Botswana Advertiser.Jan -MarWkly, Fr98,2983.5%3.5%
Get It (Ballito to Umhlanga)Jan -MarMtly10,9269.6%9.7%
Get It (Bloemfontein)Jan -MarMtly6,8900.0%0.0%
Get It (Highway)Jan -MarMtly9,800-0.3%-0.5%
Get It (Jo'burg South)Jan -MarMtly14,7350.4%0.6%
Get It (Jo'burg West)Jan -MarMtly14,740-0.5%0.6%
Get It (Lowveld)Jan -MarMtly6,2000.0%0.0%
Get It (Northern Suburbs Joburg)Jan -MarMtly14,825-0.2%0.0%
Get It (Pretoria)Jan -MarMtly14,6680.1%0.7%

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.

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