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New Zealanders spend 6% more on magazines in 2005

Magazine retail sales top quarter of a billion dollars

New Zealanders spend 6% more on magazines in 2005

The New Zealand retail magazine market was worth $263.5 million by December 2005, proving again its value as a paid for advertising channel, according to the Magazine Publishers Association (MPA).

Retail sales have shown a strong six-percent growth year-on-year, compared with $248 million in sales for the year to December 2004.

This is the first time the magazine industry has been able to accurately gauge the true value of the retail magazine market, based on independent, audited sales figures from New Zealand’s magazine distributors.

“It confirms our view that the magazine business is thriving,” MPA chairman, Heith Mackay-Cruise says.

“Consumers have more media choice than ever. Yet magazines remain central to reader’s lifestyle, because they represent leisure and aspiration. Just watch readers browsing at any magazine stand: they actively seek magazines that catch their eye and inspire them. The high editorial and production values make buying a magazine a very tactile experience. Consequently magazines are a very powerful part of the media market.”

In New Zealand, it is estimated up to 80% of retail sales are over the counter, with 20% subscription based. Industry data* estimates 34% of retail sales are at supermarkets, with the balance at petrol stations, magazine outlets and other retailers. The magazine retail sales figures apply only to magazines sold through retailers.

High quality and innovation drives growth

The MPA believes New Zealanders are spending more on magazines because of the better range of high quality NZ titles. “Traditionally New Zealand had great, iconic, general category titles. But we didn’t target special interest groups; that was left to international publications”, says Heith Mackay-Cruise. “However in the past 18 months, we’ve seen real dynamism and innovation. Magazine publishers have made a significant investment in re-launching existing titles such as ‘Woman’s Day’, NZ Woman’s Weekly’, ‘ New Idea’, ‘OnHoliday’, ‘URBIS’, ‘North and South’, and ‘NZ Listener’. New titles have been launched, targeting specialist communities (‘Taste’, ‘Healthy Food Guide’ and ‘Dish’). And we are seeing NZ editions of highly popular overseas titles (‘Dolly’ and ‘Top Gear’). This innovation, coupled with New Zealand’s very high editorial and production values, is now delivering a highly-defined audience to advertisers.”

The Magazine Retail Sales Value Survey will be published annually.


The Survey: The Magazine Retail Sales Value Survey is based on the net sales of magazines at full retail price (including GST) from Gordon and Gotch (NZ) Ltd, Independent Magazine Distributors Ltd and Netlink Distribution Company. Retail sales values have been measured over six month periods from January 2004 to December 2005. The study covered all magazines sold on accepted magazine terms. This included Trader magazines (ie ‘Trade & Exchange’), weekly international papers (ie ‘Guardian Weekly’, ‘International Express’), Partworks magazines, ‘Foodtown’ and ‘Essentially Food’ magazines. Retails sales figures will continue to be tracked and reported annually.

MPA: The MPA is New Zealand’s national organization for magazine publishing. Its purpose is to foster and maintain high standards in magazine publishing, and to be the primary source of information and expertise on the magazine publishing industry for members, advertisers and the community. The MPA assists the magazine publishing sector by representing and being an advocate for the industry, promoting professional standards and providing its members with a range of membership services. It promotes New Zealand magazine publisher’s excellence through the annual New Zealand Magazine Awards, which will be held this Friday, April 07, 2006.

*ACNielsen Media Research, January 2006.


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