British Comic News Stand Sales Figures, Winners and Losers (January – June 2020)

The children's comics and magazine rack in WHSmith Lancaster - August 2020
The children’s comics and magazine rack in WHSmith Lancaster – August 2020

The latest reported ABC Magazine Sales Figures for January to June 2020 have been released, with some publishers still reporting sales through the mechanism probably mopping their brow that the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the closure of many WHSmith and smaller newsagents has not – as yet – had as bad an impact as it might have done.

We’ve updated our spreadsheet of sales figures we think will most interest downthetubes readers here. These figures, which we’ve been compiling since 2006, combine print circulation with digital edition and subscription sales.

There are some caveats, however. Firstly, as Campaign reported last week (registration required), many publishers, including Condé Nast, Hearst UK, Future and Reach were among the consumer magazine publishers that have opted not to report their half-year circulation figures because of the impact of coronavirus.

Overall, 17 publishers are reporting 71 titles this year, rather than the 36 publishers which reported 139 titles during this period last year.

ABC, this is expected to be a temporary move, having already made some temporary standards changes, introduced as a result of the Pandemic, giving greater importance to digital sales for example, rather than print, although these changes probably don’t have much impact on the children’s and teenage magazine sector.

Back in May, a more permanent recent changes in the system was the introduction of new data reporting options for the circulation figures of national newspapers, including allowing publishers to opt out of making their figures publicly available. Mediatel noted publishers who choose to report privately will continue to have their circulation figures audited to industry standards via ABC, but publication of the figures will be under the control of the publisher.

In the comics sector, several titles, among them Beano (41,891 sales), Doctor Who Magazine (17,516), Go Jetters (20,989) and VIZ (44,562) have moved back to, or in some cases switched to annual reporting, so some figure are unchanged since our previous sales report.

Publishers such as Egmont and Kennedy Publishing – the latter taking on many titles previously published by Immediate Media – no longer register any of their children’s titles with ABC, so we can only guess how titles such as TOXIC are doing based on historical data.

Teen-targeted comics and magazine rack in WHSmith Lancaster - August 2020
Teen-targeted comics and magazine rack in WHSmith Lancaster - August 2020
Teen-targeted comics and magazine rack in WHSmith Lancaster – August 2020

Across the board, as restrictions on advertising within the sector, it is perhaps a wonder at the number of titles still registered with ABC, given these figures are published in the main to influence media buyers. 2000AD, Judge Dredd Megazine, Commando and other adventure titles have not been registered with ABC for several years.

While some titles the sale of some titles remains strong – LEGO Special even increasing its sales in comparison with the same period in 2019, now at 50,367, for example as did the rebranded Disney Frozen, now Disney Frozen Funtime – they are, in the main, exceptions to the rule of falling sales across the board… but at least they didn’t fall off a cliff as the economy took a major hit.

Lego Specials Magazine Issue LEGACY 6
Lego Specials Magazine Issue LEGACY 6 – on sale now

Separate to the ABCs, First News, a newspaper for young people, reports it’s achieved a 17.5% increase in its readership figures – with more than 2.6 million weekly readers across all its platforms, according to a recent survey. However, reported sales to ABC stand at an average 62,303, as against 71,884 in the same period in 2019.

The Week Junior, Dennis Publishing’s news magazine aimed at 8 to 14 year olds, grew its circulation by almost a fifth in the first half of 2020, noted Campaign, despite the Pandemic, with a `6% growth in subscription sales.

As we’ve previously noted, worldwide, the youth sector remains a continued strong publishing sector, second only to puzzle magazines, but rises in subscription sales figures and direct order and digital sales still appear to be failing to fill the gap left by declining footfall in high street newsagents.

How do publishers address such declines? There is a move toward new formats, and a drive to monetise and make more of subscriber databases, and we can only see this gain acceleration as the post Coronavirus economy warps and changes.

Publishers such as DC Thomson and Rebellion appear to be proving fairly successful as adapting to changing times so far -long may that continue.

There’s a list of every comic and children’s magazine currently on sale in newsagents below.

This list is via the National Title File which provides publication information to newsagents and distributors – and the publications are listed in the categories they set.

It should also be noted that the NTF list sometimes still includes some “legacy” titles no longer published. This previously happened with Panini’s Doctor Who Adventures which was still listed for some months as an active title, despite its cancellation.

• View our spreadsheet of ABC figures here (2006 – 2020)

• PLEASE NOTE these are AVERAGE sales for each title per issue, including subscription and digital sales. Some individual issues – boosted by promotion, mainly – may sell in excess of the average figure listed

• Having trouble finding your favourite title? Newsstand.co.uk offers over 4000 UK titles: www.newsstand.co.uk

2000AD - Prog 2194

Active News Stand Title UK – August 2020

A “snapshot” of titles on sale this week aimed at children and teenagers available through independent newsagents, WHSmith and some supermarkets. Not all these titles are “comics” in the traditional sense, such as 2000AD, Beano and Phoenix, that is titles dominated by strip over features, as was the case some decades past. This list is via the National Title File which provides publication information to newsagents and distributors – and the publications are listed in the categories they set. It should also be noted that the NTF list sometimes still includes “legacy” titles no longer published, but not many.

Teenage Comics

2000AD
Astonishing Spider-Man
Avengers Universe
Batman: Tales of the Dark Knight
Commando Action Adventure
Commando Home of Heroes
Commando Gold Collection
Commando Silver Collection
Deadpool Unleashed
Doctor Who Tales From the TARDIS
Essential X-Men
Judge Dredd Megazine
Otaku
Marvel Legends
Pony World
Wolverine and Deadpool

Doctor Who Magazine 553

Teenage Entertainment

Cancelled – Cosplay
Doctor Who Magazine

Beano 4033 - Cover

Primary Boys

110% Gaming
Action Combat
Action GTX
Beano
It’s Time For…
Dinosaur Action
Dinosaur Attack
Dino Friends
Footy
Get Busy
Horrible Histories
LEGO City
LEGO Giant Series
LEGO Hidden Side
LEGO Ninjago
LEGO Superhero Legends
LEGO Star Wars
Mega
Monster Megapack
Pokemon
Simpsons Comic Magazine
Spider-Man Magazine
Star Wars Galaxy
Superzings Official Magazine
Transformers RID
WWE Kids

Pre-Teen

100 Percent Wow
Activity Fun
Activity Series
Download
First News
Fortnite Summer Special
Go Girl
Independent Unofficial Guide To Fortnite
Kick Extra
Kraze
LEGO Special Edition
Match Special
Minecraft World
National Geographic Kids
Phoenix Weekly
Slime Factory
This Is
Top Of The Pops
Toxic

Primary Girls

Animals And You
Animal Friends
Barbie
Build A Bear Workshop
Beautiful Mermaid
Colour It
Cuddles Baby Animals
Crazy For
Cute
Cute Special
Disney Princess
Disney Princess Create Colour
Fairy Princess
Favourite Friends
Frozen
Girl Talk
Girl Talk Art
Girl
Hatchimals
Holiday Goodie Pack Girls
Hairdoorables
Hasbro Wow
Hello Kitty Magazine
I Love Unicorns
It’s All About Friends
Jacqueline Wilson
Katie
LEGO Disney Princess
LEGO Friends
LOL Surprise
Love From
Mia And Me
Mia And Me Special
Mojipops Magazine
Mojipops Special
My Beautiful Princess
My Little Pony
My Little Pony Special
Num Noms
Pets 2 Collect
Pikmi Pops Surprise
Pink
Poopsie Slime Surprise
Pony Friends
Princess Colouring Time
Princess Friends
Princess Storytime
Princess World Special
Princess World
Puzzle It
Rainbow Princess Colouring
Shimmer Shine
Shopkins
So Magical
Sparkle World
Spirit Riding Free
Star Girl
Summer Girl
Sweet
Totally
Ultimate
Unicorn Magic
Unicorn Universe
We Love

Teenage Lifestyle

Shout

2000AD Ultimate Collection - Caballistics, Inc. Volume 2
2000AD Ultimate Collection – Caballistics, Inc. Volume 2 – coming soon

Part Works

2000AD Ultimate Collection
Battleship Bismarck
Big Little Crochet
Build A Model Spitfire
Build The Terminator
Build Your Own X-Wing
Cake Decorating
Classic Dinky Toy Collection
Classic Routemaster
DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection
DC Comic Legend Batman Special
DC Graphic Novel Collection Special 1
DC Graphic Novel Collection Special 2
Deadpool Graphic Novels
Disney Cakes And Sweets
Disney Cakes Sweets Special 4
Disney Cross Stitch Nation
Disney My Little Library
Doctor Who Figure Col Special 23
Doctor Who Figure Collection
Doctor Who Figure Col Special 23
Doctor Who Figure Collection Special 24
F1 Collection
Ferrari F40
Legends Of Batman
Marvel Movie Figure Special 16
Marvel Movie Collection
Marvel Universe Figurine Collection
Peter Rabbit Patchwork Quilt
Precious Rocks 3
Rossi Bike Collection
Star Trek Graphic Novel A3
Star Trek Starship Special 22
Star Trek Ships
Supercars
Transformers G1 Graphic Novel
Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection
Ultimate Graphic Novel Relaunch
Warhammer Mortal Realms
Cancelled – Warhammer National

Part Works – Tests

DC Heroes And Villians
Build Hogwarts Express
Total Tarot

Pre-School

321 Go
Andy’s Amazing Adventures
Baby Shark
Barney
Ben Holly’s Little Kingdom
Blaze Monster Machines
Box Of Bing
Bob The Builder
Busy Time
Cbeebies
Cbeebies Art
Cbeebies Special Gift
Charlie & Lola
Cuddles
Dinosaur Roar
Disney Art
Disney Playtime
Disney Stars
Everything
Frozen Funtime
Fantastic Funworld
Fireman Sam
Fun To Learn Favourites
Fun To Learn Friends
Fun To Learn Peppa Pig
Fun To Learn Bag Of Fun
Fun To Learn Bing
Fun To Learn I Know
Fun With…
Get Busy Special
Glitter Princess Goody Bag
Go Jetters
Hey Duggee
Let’s Play
Lucky Dip
Milkshake
Mr Men Little Miss
Mr Men Little Miss Special
Mister Maker
Mr Tumble Something Special
My Favourite Fairytales
Okido
Octonauts
Paw Patrol
Peppa Pig Bag O Fun
Peter Rabbit
PJ Masks
Playtime
Rescue Bots
Ryan’s World
Super Wings
Tellytime Favourites
Thomas & Friends
Toy Box
WCW
Wild Wheels

• The Audit Bureau of Circulations is the industry body for media measurement. The organisation brings the newspaper and magazine industry together to agree measurement and process Reporting Standards, a process that is constantly evolving to keep pace with industry developments.

• View our spreadsheet of ABC figures here (2006 – 2020)

• Having trouble finding your favourite title? Newsstand.co.uk offers over 4000 UK titles: www.newsstand.co.uk

FURTHER READING

downthetubes: British Comic Sales Figures, Winners and Losers (July – December 2019) – Good News, at least, for Beano, again

British Comic Sales Figures, Winners and Losers (January – June 2019)

InPublishing, 12th August 2020: First News announces 17.5% increase in readership

InPublishing, 14th August 2020: ABC Results: publisher reaction (no comic publishers featured)

MediaTel, 13th August 2020: Magazine ABCs: market round-up

News magazine ABCs: The Week Junior circulation up by a fifth despite pandemic

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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