UK Magazine Subscriptions Surge during Pandemic

During difficult times, the majority of people claim that focusing on their passions helps them cope. So it’s no surprise that right now many magazine publishers are reporting booming subscription rates and higher digital content audiences.

“Much has been written about why media matters so much right now. There are countless examples of broadcasters and publishers pivoting fast and showing how responsive and adept they are at supplying entertaining and useful content for consumers,” writes Magnetic Media’s Sue Todd.

“This is true for magazine brands. Magazine content is rooted in subjects that really matter to people, be that food, fashion or film, health or the home, and staying connected to the things you love is important right now,” she continues.

Todd points out that our collective mood is an important factor in what will resonate with your audience.

These are testing times for sure, and we’ll all be oscillating between good days and bad at the moment,” Todd writes. “Recognising the flux in the mood of their consumers and that of the broader nation is what great content providers are able to understand and help to support.”

This echoes the sentiments expressed by Bauer Media’s Steven Kotok last week in an interview with Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni.

“The topics we cover: inspiration, health, food, are just as relevant now,” Kotok explained. “Other areas, like news, there’s more interest in maybe other things, where there’s less interest in some, but I think for us our core pillars are just as relevant.”

Since magazines are rooted in subjects that really matter to people – food, fashion, film, health, home, hobbies – we crave a way to stay connected to those things, Todd explains. The result? A surge in subscriptions, like these major UK publications:

  • The Week and The Week Junior from Dennis have seen outstanding circulation growth with over 7,250 new subs to The Week Junior in the past four weeks
  • Bauer has seen an increase of over 70% in the number of new subscriptions purchased online year on year. In the last week alone, this performance has more than doubled with an increase of over 160%
  • Hearst’s new subscriber acquisitions were up more than 100% year-on-year across the second half of March
  • In the last seven days alone, TI Media subs are up 200% and Immediate Media has reported orders up 278% year on year

This is proof positive that yes, magazine media does still matter a great deal to readers, and publishers have every reason to be hopeful even while newsstand sales may be slow due to social quarantine guidelines.

As Todd notes, “I believe that magazines’ relationships with their audiences will be strengthened during this time, as brands continue to serve up highly positive content that helps people stay connected to the things that they love.”