As the community has slowed down and is required to stay at home, the simpler things in life are regaining importance. Mediaweek reported on a positive outlook for magazines from newsagent Mark Fletcher last month.
This week, magazine subscription retailer isubscribe is reporting a 29% uplift in sales for March 2020 and is on track to achieve an increase of over 50% in April. Those figures are just for print magazine subscriptions.
Digital subscriptions, typically a much smaller proportion of the overall magazine subscription market, have jumped 134% in volume for March and over 400% in volume as at 15th April. Health titles are experiencing the strongest growth, particularly Women’s Health magazine. The brand is still a Pacific Magazines publication given the impasse between Seven and Bauer over the sale of their magazine titles.
“It’s been a strong end to the first quarter and start of the second, due to the dramatic changes in community and consumer behaviour.” said Hunter Drinan (pictured), managing director, isubscribe.
“Together with additional media spend, particularly TV, there’s increased awareness of our products at a time when customers are wanting to keep their minds and bodies engaged, and they want support and inspiration for the projects they haven’t had time for until now.”
The magazine categories experiencing the strongest uplift on isubscribe are home and garden, kids, lifestyle and health and wellbeing magazines.
“We’ve seen a massive 60-150% increase in sales across those categories in April. The stand out performance has been our puzzle magazine category. While starting from a lower base than the major categories, it’s experienced an almost 300% increase in total sales for March and an over 1400% increase to date for April,” said Drinan.
“Working from home and home schooling also means more screen time in the house. People are seeking more traditional, ‘offline’ forms of entertainment such as reading books and magazines, walking or bike riding in the park.
“We’ve actually seen this trend building in recent years, particularly in relation to kids magazines. Big players are coming into the market to create educational, fun magazine products for kids. National Geographic launched National Geographic Kids in 2016 and it’s been the number one title across our business for over two years.”