The media industry awoke to the ABC circulation figures for newspapers and the Roy Morgan readership figures for magazines today. The overwhelming response seems to be that men just aren’t reading men’s titles anymore.
The men’s section – which includes titles like People and Picture – fell a whopping 19.8 per cent for a combined total of just 247,000 readers. A quick look into the men’s lifestyle category and there is a drop of 16 per cent with a combined total of 1.26 million readers. That section includes the likes of Zoo Weekly (down 17.4 per cent), GQ Australia (down an immense 36.5 per cent) and the dead FHM (down 29 per cent). The only good news in that sector came from Inside Sport which rose a healthy 7.4 per cent.
In other categories that would have high levels of males readers, figures were equally poor. The business, financial and airline sector saw a drop of 7.5 per cent with titles such as New Scientist down 17.2 per cent, Smart Investor down 14 per cent and BRW down 15.5 per cent. The saviour in that category was The Week, up 23.1 per cent.
Games and technology fared a little bit better. The entire sector was up 4.4 per cent largely off the back of Game Informer increasing a staggering 68.2 per cent. Sports fell 21.4 per cent with Australian Golf Digest recording a drop of 22.1 per cent while motoring also fell, recording a 2.1 per cent drop. Famous title Wheels lost nine per cent of its readership.
So what’s the deal with men and magazines? While print media in general is falling, many women’s titles, especially those to do with interiors and styling, are increasing readership, often at quite staggering levels.
The quality certainly hasn’t dropped as substantially as what the figures are showing. If anything, men’s titles these days are a lot better than what they were before. Just take a look at GQ Australia now compared to three years ago.
Whatever the case, it seems like men are turning away from magazines as quickly as the population is turning away from analogue TV, which is a real shame… for magazines, not analogue TV. It’s also not hurting traffic for men’s websites like EFTM, just quietly.
So tell us… Do you still read men’s magazines?
Nick Broughall is the Australian Editor of TechRadar.com, where he gets to indulge his passion for geekery and the lastest technology. He is also the Editor of EFTM.com.au, where he gets to indulge his passion for manliness, from sampling fine liquor to the joys of growing a beard. It’s a pretty good life, really.