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Children’s magazine market bucks downwards sales trend

Children's magazines

The children’s magazine market is the only area in the category to show value growth in the past decade, according to new figures by Egmont.

The publisher revealed the news at the launch of its scheme to encourage literacy.

Speaking at the event last week in London, commercial director Siobhan Galvin said while volume has declined on magazines sales overall, the children’s sector has seen its value increase, boosted by cover price rises.

She noted that the market was down by more than 56% since 2010 in volume, and by 44.2% in value terms. Much of this, she explained, could be put down to fewer parents shopping the magazine fixture in larger stores.

However, Galvin highlighted how children’s magazines bucked this trend. “There is a silver lining – as other categories have declined, the children’s magazine market has risen in prominence,” she said.

“Once a niche category, it now has 15% of the total market – a 7% gain since 2010.”

As well as explaining how the average price rise has helped the children’s category to maintain its value sales, Galvin explained that the number of different titles in the market declined after reaching a peak midway through the last decade.

“We predicted there would be consolidation and there has been. There were more closures than launches from 2016 to 2018, and by 2019, the number of titles had fallen to 185 from 205 in 2017, mainly because there is less space on shelves,” she said.

“Space for the children’s category has declined by 5% in the past three years, and with frequency going down it’s harder for launches to stick. Timing is critical, and we must launch when brand momentum is at its peak for products to have the most chance of success.”

Egmont pointed to its successful launch of Ryan’s World – the title used the brand’s 60 million views on YouTube per month to achieve 49,000 copy sales on the first edition.

Galvin also claimed: “Change isn’t always about new – it’s investing and nurturing what’s already there. The top 20 magazines amount to 50% of the value for children’s titles.

“They are the backbone of the category and dominate retail ranges across the board.

“Twelve have been in the market for over a decade; five launched in the past century; and of the eight new entrants in the past decade, six were toy brands and four were Lego titles. Egmont publishes six titles in the top 20.”

Egmont’s latest partnership with the Department for Education sees the publisher featuring its Hungry Little Minds campaign, aimed at encouraging parents and carers to support children’s learning from an early stage, in its recently launched Milkshake magazine.

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