New Audit Bureau of Circulation figures show that print music magazines are continuing to suffer precipitous losses in circulation [via The Guardian].
The climate has, of course, been inhospitable to print mags for a long time – FACT elected to retire its print incarnation in 2009 – but the new figures suggest a turnaround isn’t due any time soon.
NME and Q both suffered losses of nearly 20% year-on-year in the first half of 2012 – the former dropping 19.7% to 64,596, the latter 17.6% to 23,924. Other paid-for titles did fare better – Kerrang! fell 6.6% to 40,203, while Mojo fell just 2.4%, and remains the best-selling music paper with a circulation of 85,149. But only younger free titles such as The Fly and The Stool Pigeon reported a rise in circulation, with the latter reaching a total of 54,588.
With the recent closure of The Word, other paid-for titles – particularly those of a more niche persuasion – will doubtless be troubled by the new figures. It remains to be seen whether the print business model can be successfully revitalised in the face of the increasing digitisation of journalism of all kinds.