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    Magazines ABC Q2 2023: Digital magazines the star of the Q2

    As traditional publishing models continue to be challenged by the digital age, and online platforms and social media changing how information is consumed, it is no surprise that the star of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa's Q2 2023 is digital magazines.
    Image: Bizcommunity. The star of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa's Q2 2023 is digital magazines
    Image: Bizcommunity. The star of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa's Q2 2023 is digital magazines

    The category showed a 10,484% distribution increase from Q2, 2021, and from 354,544 in Q1, 2023 to 390,538 in Q2, 2023.

    While Q1 2023 showed some good increase, in this quarter growth generally stabilised, as overall circulation across all industries declined by 2,31% from Q1 (9 858 541) to 9,631,192 in Q2, 2023. The overall distribution (across all categories) declined by 5,01% compared to last year, from 10,139,194 to 9,631,192.

    The B2B and Custom magazine categories both increased in distribution, by 3% and 2% respectively, while Consumer magazines and Free magazines both declined this quarter. Consumer Magazines declined by 6% from Q1, 2023 while the Free magazine category decreased 1%.

    Yet, publishers are holding on in turbulent financial circumstances where all industries remain under pressure with energy supply and a declining currency.

    Consumer magazines

    Financial Mail and Forbes (Business and News category) are both up on the previous quarter and prior year.

    In the Farming category, Landbouweekblad showed double-figure increases on the previous quarter and the prior year, of 21.6% and 21.5%, the biggest increase in Consumer Magazines, except for Women’s Health with an increase of 21.9%.

    Other double-digit increases include Food & Home Magazine (11%), Baba & Kleuter (11.6%) and Weg/Go (11.9%).

    In a turnaround on Q1 where the Women’s General sector had five publications that showed upward movement, only two publications showed increases on the previous quarter, one showed no movement and seven posted decreases on the previous quarter.

    Arts, Culture and Heritage
    PublicationFrequencyFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
    Jewish LifeMtly8,5588,558-0.9%-2.5%
    Val de Vie Magazine2xA0No Issue
    Business and News
    Financial MailWkly, Fr2,50014,6805.7%17.6%
    Forbes AfricaAltM3,83210,1153.1%12.2%
    The Big Issue MagazineMtly5215,207-7.0%-14.0%
    Conservation and Wildlife
    African BirdlifeAltM1,5657,147No Submission6.2%
    TV Plus (Afrikaans)F0Discontinued
    TV Plus (English)F0Discontinued
    Family Interest
    HuisgenootWkly, Th2,49295,553-6.0%-19.5%
    Plus 50 6xA563,152-40.9%-28.9%
    Spot-On (Formerly known as Spotong)AltM0Ceased publishing
    The Crest7xA0Discontinued
    The Ridge8xA0Discontinued
    YouWkly, Th1,26747,627-7.8%-25.0%
    Farmer's WeeklyWkly, Fr2685,548-12.4%-9.8%
    Grond tot MondQ30,62730,6270.7%Reporting Change
    LandbouweekbladWkly, Th014,30121.6%21.5%
    Veeplaas.11xA0Changed Sector
    Health & Wellbeing
    Grow to Eat3xA0No Issue
    Conde Nast House & GardenMtly2,39910,826-6.3%-12.0%
    Easy DIYQ0Resigned
    Food&Home MagazineQ2,76614,84311.0%New Member
    Lose It,Q0No Issue
    SA Home Owner11xA5,39319,350-1.8%-5.3%
    Sarie Kos / FoodQ012,9381.6%-21.0%
    The Gardener / Die TuinierMtly6,78421,976-5.8%2.4%
    Tuis Home8xA52259,192-4.9%-20.6%
    Let’s Braai / Kom ons Braai (former The Ultimate Braai)Ann0No Issue
    Life & Style.4xA0No Submission
    Silver Digest 4xA0No Issue
    Men's Health6xA6,21716,1156.7%-17.3%
    Popular MechanicsMtly0Ceased Publishing
    Bike SAMtly0Ceased Publishing
    Driven MagazineMtly7,4947,494-2.0%3.3%
    Baba & KleuterQ010,21111.6%-5.5%
    Baby's and BeyondQ7,4459,9010.5%-1.4%
    Your Pregnancy and BabyAltM5904,777-15.7%-25.1%
    Sport and Hobby
    Compleat GolferMtly4,7887,761-15.1%19.9%
    Kick OffMtly0Discontinued
    SA RugbyMtly3,1388,244-13.1%-26.1%
    Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
    Cape Etc3xA4,8087,276-0.4%10.3%
    go! Drive & Camp and Weg! Ry & SleepAltM024,754-1.9%-12.8%
    Weg / Go PlattelandQ016,8633.7%-12.6%
    Woman's General
    BONA MagazineMtly4,24114,206-11.3%New Member
    Garden & Home MagazineMtly4,06914,170-6.3%-13.8%
    Rooi Rose MagazineMtly5,78029,5040.0%6.0%
    True LoveAltM010,140-6.2%-39.0%
    Women & Home MagazineMtly6,77026,227-9.9%-7.7%
    Women's Health6xA5,02915,55621.9%-48.0%
    Woman's Special
    Wedding GuideAnn7437,988New Member

    B2B magazines

    Continuing with its upward projection of the past few quarters, B2B was one of two categories that increased in distribution.

    In general all the B2B magazine categories had up to half of their publications show an increase on the previous quarter. While some of these increases are incremental, eight publications had double-digit increases.

    These include Veeplaas and Stockfarm which continue their good run from Q1 2023 as well as Refrigeration & Airconditioning, Plumbing Africa, The Specialist Forum Journal, FA News, African Mining inc. Mining Mirror and Pharmacy Magazine (former Front Shop).

    PublicationFrequencyFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
    OVK Nuus/News4xA4,7554,7550.0%0.0%
    SA Graan / GrainMtly21,31821,3181.9%11.6%
    VeeplaasMtly5,54510,38435.9%Changed Sector
    Leading Architect & DesignAltM6,6116,655-1.7%3.6%
    SA Building ReviewAnn0No IssueReporting Change
    To Build3xA9,0029,8481.0%0.3%
    Taxi GuardianMtly0Terminated
    Civil Construction
    Construction WorldMtly16,55316,5530.2%9.0%
    IMIESA11xA0Changed Publisher
    Spec HandbooksAnn0No Issue
    Future SA4xA5,0707,959No Issue3.4%
    SA ProfileAnn0No Issue
    The Gapp MagazineAltM0Resigned
    Electrical Engineering
    Electricity & ControlMtly13,62913,6291.4%8.5%
    Sparks Electrical NewsMtly14,45114,4512.1%8.6%
    Engineering - Other
    Capital Equipment NewsMtly13,43213,4324.7%11.8%
    MechChem AfricaAltM10,39110,3911.7%13.2%
    Motion ControlQ2,1122,1120.0%8.0%
    Plumbing AfricaMtly13,06613,13617.2%38.0%
    Refrigeration and AirconditioningMtly8,1018,11216.8%28.4%
    SA Instrumentation & ControlMtly4,1184,118-6.6%0.3%
    Water & Sanitation AfricaAltM0Changed Publisher
    Health and Wellbeing
    Hi-Tech Security Solutions8xA4,3314,3311.3%3.4%
    MDR Medical Desk ReferenceAnn1,6062,337No Issue-4.9%
    Medical Chronicle11xA29,39329,3936.9%15.1%
    Modern Medicine MagazineAltM3,5223,9804.4%12.2%
    South African Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Review11xA2,9072,9250.1%2.7%
    The Specialist Forum Journal11xA24,51624,516110.5%14.1%
    Hospitality, Catering and Tourism
    MeetingsAltM0Changed Publisher
    The Meetings & Event Planner (former SA Conference Directory)Ann0Changed PublisherNo Issue
    Analytical ReporterAltM5,5075,507-0.3%2.6%
    Cold Link AfricaAltM3,2473,253-20.7%-19.7%
    Eastern Cape BusinessAnn4,9724,972Reporting Change0.2%
    KwaZulu Natal BusinessAnn4,9534,953Reporting Change-0.2%
    Lighting in DesignQ7,5647,5642.2%13.5%
    Mpumalanga Business.,Ann0No Issue
    North West BusinessAnn0No Issue
    Northern Cape BusinessAnn4,9664,966Reporting Change0.1%
    Opportunity (Exploring Business Prospects in SA)Q4,9324,9320.1%0.3%
    ResourceQ0Changed Publisher
    South African Food Review11xA3,7223,7610.3%-2.3%
    The Journal of African BusinessQ4,9674,967New Member
    Information and Computer Technology
    African DecisionsQ11,19112,8319.1%0.6%
    Black Business QuarterlyQ36,79437,009-17.1%-20.0%
    Blue Chip,Q20,07520,075No Issue170.4%
    Business Day EarthAnn0New Member
    Business Day EmpowermentAnn0New Member
    FA NewsAltM2,7192,89450.5%-0.3%
    KZN InvestQ0Discontinued
    Money MarketingMtly7,2427,244-5.6%-6.3%
    South African Business Intergrator2xA8,8149,872-0.1%0.9%
    Mining & Quarrying
    African Mines HandbookAnn0No Issue
    African Mining BriefAltM0Terminated
    African Mining Inc. Mining Mirror11xA27,89727,97533.3%25.6%
    Engineering News & Mining WeeklyWkly, Fr10,95813,6047.1%2.2%
    Inside MiningQ0Discontinued
    Mining Business Africa6xA0Terminated
    Mining Review Africa.11xA4,9494,949No Issue
    Modern MiningMtly14,23714,2371.9%12.8%
    Modern QuarryingQ6,7756,775-0.4%14.4%
    DIY And Industrial Trade NewsMtly10,29410,2941.8%-1.8%
    Pharmacy Magazine (former Frontshop)Mtly18,47518,47510.5%1.1%
    Transport and Logistics
    Freight News FeaturesMtly5,4005,622-5.5%-8.7%

    Custom magazines

    Custom magazines also increased its circulation in general, but the increases were small with only JSE (Industry Specific) showing a double-digit increase. The Male and In-Flight categories both had all publications show increases.

    PublicationFrequencyFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
    Dairy Mail, The.Mtly1,0781,078-11.0%-53.6%
    Health & Wellbeing
    Fitlife.Mtly0Ceased Publishing
    SA Pharmaceutical Journal10xA6,4876,487No Submission
    SA Pharmacist's Assistant (SAPA)Q0Resigned
    South African Medical JournalMtly8,6528,8790.7%-1.3%
    Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia &AnalgesiaAltM0Resigned
    Living Space..Mtly12439,2551.9%11.5%
    My Kitchen..Mtly48376,718-0.4%10.7%
    Industry Specific
    Forum TydskrifQ0Terminated
    J S EQ14,62616,32712.8%12.8%
    Sea Rescue3xA19,93119,931No Issue1.5%
    In Flight MagazineMtly36,84336,8435.7%30.7%
    Private EditionQ9,1889,188No Issue-0.6%
    Motor..Mtly0Ceased Publishing
    Club MagazineMtly7,000254,176-3.1%-3.5%
    Jet Club7xA1,005254,916-2.9%-2.9%
    Sport and Hobby
    Game & Hunt/Wild & JagMtly66,67268,4320.0%2.7%
    SA Hunter/Jagter8xA0Resigned
    Soccer ClubMtly50050,9191.1%9.6%
    Sports Club.Mtly546104,0930.6%20.0%
    Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
    EscapesMtly0Ceased Publishing
    Rove SA2xA8,22710,5758.9%-0.1%
    Woman's General
    Balanced LifeMtly26649,801-0.4%1.9%
    Kids Super Club.Mtly49072,606-1.2%13.1%

    Free magazines

    Not the best quarter for Free magazines with four declines on the previous quarter, with three publications holding steady and two increases on the previous quarter.

    PublicationFrequencyTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
    Botswana Advertiser.F99,9650.0%0.0%
    Get It (Ballito to Umhlanga)Mtly11,9710.1%2.2%
    Get It (Bloemfontein)Mtly6,8900.0%0.0%
    Get It (Highway)Mtly11,8650.7%0.4%
    Get It (Jo'burg South)Mtly14,733-0.1%0.1%
    Get It (Jo'burg West)Mtly13,356-7.9%-8.3%
    Get It (Lowveld)Mtly6,2000.0%0.0%
    Get It (Northern Suburbs Joburg)Mtly14,544-1.7%-1.6%
    Get It (Pretoria)Mtly14,595-0.5%-1.0%

    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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