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Magazines boast readership strength

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 20th February 2002

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New Zealanders' love affair with magazines continues unabated with more than a third of titles hitting record readership levels according to latest figures.

The Magazine Publishers' Association says the increased readership measured by ACNielsen's latest survey covers a wide range of titles from classified car mag Autotrader, to internet publication NZ NetGuide and foodie favourite Cuisine.

Association executive director, John McClintock, says it's an excellent result for the industry.

"Today's figures show that magazines are stronger than ever. While the trend of major increases for niche magazines continues to climb, the volume of magazine readership has increased on the same time last year."

According to the latest survey the Wilson & Horton-owned (NZSE: WHHPA) magazine New Zealand Woman's Weekly has snaffled the top readership spot from INL's (NZSE: INL) TV Guide, which is now in second place.

In third position is Woman's Day, owned by Australia's Publishing & Broadcasting, while Sky Network (NZSE: SKY) magazine Skywatch is in fourth place, and is the magazine most read by men. Sky is majority owned by INL.

Rounding out the top 10 most read titles are AA Directions, Reader's Digest, Sunday Star Times, NZ House & Garden, Australian Women's Weekly and New Idea.

Mr McClintock says while the events of September 11th were good for current affairs magazines such as the New Zealand edition of Time, which increased readership from 238,000 to 277,000, those increases were at the expense of more local equivalents.

Circulation figures, which are different to readership figures, have also been released for the six months ended December and Mr McClintock says there's been another strong increase in both circulation and readership for lifestyle and niche magazines.

Net circulation at Cuisine has grown to 75,000 from 56,000 previously and other magazines that have also significantly increased circulation as well as readership include NZ House and Garden from 68,000 to 80,000.

"These figures reinforce what we've been saying for some time about the ability of magazines to target and successfully reach different niches of the New Zealand consumer market."

The increasingly competitive world of TV listings saw net circulation figures for the weekly TV Guide fall to 222,000 from 230,000 previously while the monthly Skywatch boosted circulation from 332,000 to 349,000.

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