BEANO gains again, changes ahead for Panini’s superhero titles – British Comic News Stand Sales Figures, Winners and Losers (July – December 2020)

ABC Comic Sales 2020 - Beano Graphic

The latest reported ABC Magazine Sales Figures for July to December 2020 were released recently, and despite the Coronavirus Pandemic and the closure of many WHSmith, we are delighted to see that some titles not only saw sales rise, in no small part helped by increased subscriptions, but some, such as BEANO, climbed again. Research for this item also revealed the slimmest of information about changes ahead for some of Panini UK‘s superhero-inspired titles.

The rises in reported sales may come as surprise since, as reported by the Press Gazette, more widely men’s, tech and entertainment magazines in the UK saw an average circulation decline of 9% in 2020, according to the ABC figures. By comparison, women’s magazines saw an average circulation decline of 8%, as did TV titles. UK magazine sales overall fell by 6% year on year in 2020 according to Press Gazette analysis of the latest ABC release.

WHS Smith Lancaster - Friday 5th March 2021
WHS Lancaster. Please note, photo taken and added To this article in early March 2021

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.

We have also revamped the spreadsheet to reflect how titles are categorised for sale in newsagents, such as “Teenage Comics“, “Primary Boys“, “Primary Girls“, which hopefully provides better clarity. These are the categories assigned by the publishers and it should be noted that some titles do not include much comics material.

This article (and the spreadsheet) also includes below details of currently “Active Titles” – a snapshot of tiles available through UK newsagents (February 2021) and advance news of some which revealed some upcoming changes to superhero titles being published by Panini UK.

Wolverine and Deadpool has been cancelled, and two new titles are in the works – X-Men, launching 16th April 2021 and Batman – Guardian of the Night, launching on 6th May, the latter presumably replacing the stalled Batman – Tales Of The Dark Knight, which unfortunately launched just before COVID hit the UK.

downthetubes believes a wider revamp of Panini’s superhero title line-up is in the works, after many titles went on hiatus last year because they were dependent on newsstand and WHSmith sales.

Available figures as a whole show gains again for BEANO, up from its previously reported average of just under 42,000 sales to an average 45,644. The magazine’s sales steadily through the latter part of 2020, buoyed by subscription sales, which an indicator of how publishers responded to reduced physical sales outlets because of the pandemic.

WHS Smith Lancaster - Friday 5th March 2021
Space for titles aimed at younger readers, currently not often in store because of lockdown, has clearly been squeezed in favour of titles being picked up by adults at WHS Lancaster. (Puzzle magazine sales have leapt in the past year). Please note, photo taken and added To this article in early March 2021

There were also gains for titles such as LEGO City (35,494) and LEGO Star Wars (40,773), a small rise for MEGA (29,590) and a welcome jump for Redan’s Sparkle World (40,314), although those sales reported for a number of girls magazines have fallen.

Sales of both of Redan’s popular Peppa Pig tie-ins for pre-schoolers leapt, still one of the youth sectors best-selling publications.

Given the disruption caused by the Pandemic, it’s no wonder Chris Duncan, Bauer Media UK’s chief executive of UK publishing, has said of the overall ABC results, which saw sales of general magazines such as HEAT fall by a third, “cover a period of extraordinary disruption” for both readers and retailers.

The figures and full certificate reports suggest the most nimble of publishers have responded to the distribution problems caused by the Pandemic with innovation and much determination, building subscription sales through online promotion. It remains to be seen if subscriptions will remain high post-lockdown, but the crisis certainly continued a direction fo travel toward higher subscriber reader numbers that has been developing for some time.

Statistics fans should be aware of the usual caveats: not all publishers report their sales using ABC. 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.

In addition, because of the Pandemic, earlier in the year some publishers opted not to report their half-year circulation figures because of the impact of coronavirus.

• 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

See Also the Press Gazette, 11th February 2021 – UK magazine circulations for 2020: Full breakdown shows average 6% year-on-year drop

Press Gazette: Magazine ABCs 2020: How the men’s, tech, entertainment and women’s sectors fared – includes publisher reaction and comment

Active Titles – February 2021

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 some “legacy” titles no longer published

Teenage Comics

2000AD 2220 Cover

2000AD
Astonishing Spider-Man
Avengers Universe
Batman – Tales Of The Dark Knight
Batman Guardian of the Night – Launches 6th May 2021 (Panini)
Commando
Deadpool Unleashed
Doctor Who Tales From the TARDIS
Essential X-Men
Judge Dredd Megazine
Marvel Legends
Otaku
Pony World
Cancelled – Wolverine & Deadpool
X-Men – Launches 16th April 2021 (Panini)

Teenage Lifestyle

School Leaver Guide
Shout

Teenage Entertainment

Doctor Who Magazine

Primary Boys

Beano 4074

110% Gaming
Action Combat
Action Gtx
Beano
Dino Friends
Dinosaur Action
Dinosaur Attack
Footy
Get Busy
Horrible Histories
It’s Time For…WWE Kids
Lego City
Lego Explorer
Lego Giant Series
Lego Hidden Side
Lego Ninjago
Lego Star Wars
Lego Superhero Legends
Mega
Pokemon
Power Rangers
Simpsons Comics
Spider-Man Magazine
Superzings Official Magazine
Transformers

Pre-Teen

Animal Planet magazine (2021)

100 Percent Wow
Activity Fun
Animal Planet
Cocoa
Colouring Heaven Junior
Factology
First News
Go Girl
Kick Extra
Kraze
Lego Special Edition
Match Special
Minecraft World
National Geographic Kids
Phoenix Weekly
Slime Factory
This Is…
Top of the Pops
Toxic
Unofficial Guide To Fortnite

Primary Girls

Sparkle World Promotional Image

Fairy Princess
Absolutely
Angelina
Animal Friends
Animals And You
Art Draw And Create
Barbie
Beautiful Mermaid
Build A Bear Workshop
Colour It
Crazy For
Cuddles Baby Animals
Cute
Cute Special
Disney Princess
Disney Princess Create Collection
Favourite Friends
Frozen
Girl
Girl Talk
Hairdorables
Hello Kitty Magazine
I Love Unicorns
Jacqueline Wilson
Katie
Lego Disney Princess
Lego Friends
LOL Surprise
Love From
Mia And Me
My Beautiful Princess
My Little Pony
Num Noms
Party Girl
Pets 2 Collect
Pikmi Pops Surprise
Pink
Pink Price Test
Pony Friends
Princess Colouring Time
Princess Friends
Princess Storytime
Princess World
Rainbow Princess Colouring
Shimmer Shine
Shimmer Shine Price Test
Shopkins
So Magical
Sparkle World
Spirit Riding Free
Star Girl
Sweet
Totally
Trolls
Ultimat
Unicorn Magic
Unicorn Universe
We Love

Pre-School Titles

321 Go
Andy’s Amazing Adventures
Baby Shark
Barney
Ben Holly’s Little Kingdom
Blaze Monster Machines
Blippi Magazine
Bob the Builder
Box of Bing
Busy Time
Cbeebies
Cbeebies Animals
Cbeebies Art
Charlie & Lola
Cuddles
Dino Fun
Disney Playtime
Disney Stars
Everything
Fantastic Funworld
Fireman Sam
Frozen Funtime
Fun To Learn Bag Of Fun
Fun To Learn Bing
Fun To Learn Favourites
Fun To Learn Friends
Fun To Learn Peppa Pig
Fun To Learn Peter Rabbit
Go Jetters
Hey Duggee
Imagine
Let’s Play
Lucky Dip
Milkshake
Mr Men Little Miss
Mr Tumble Something Special
My Favourite Fairytales
Octonauts
Okido
Paw Patrol
Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun
Peter Rabbit
Pj Masks
Playtime
Rescue Bots
Ryan’s World
Super Wings
Tellytime Favourites
Thomas & Friends
Wild Wheels

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

Teenage Lifetstyle

Shout

Part Works

2000AD Ultimate Collection
Battleship Bismarck
Big Little Crochet
Build 1967 Mustang Eleanor
Build A Model Spitfire
Build Fast And Furious Dod
Build The Terminator
Byo X Wing
Cake Decorating
Classic Dinky Toy Collection
DC Comic Heroes And Villains
DC Comic Heroes Villains
DC Comic Legend Batman Special
DC Graphic Novel Col Special 1
Deadpool Graphic Novel
Disney Cross Stitch Nation
Disney My Little Library
F1 Collection
Ferrari F40
Legends Of Batman
Peter Rabbit Patchwork Quilt
Rossi Bike Collection
Supercars
Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection
Ultimate Graphic Novel Relaunch
Warhammer Mortal Realms

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

Points of Note about the Figures

Following the lockdown restrictions imposed in the UK in March 2020 ABC made a number of temporary variations to their Reporting Standards, detailed here, to assist publishers in continuing to report the unexpected and rapid changes made to their publications and circulations. ABC 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 2020, 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.

• 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

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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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