Increase in music sales is all down to the net effect

Music magazine publishers claimed their success in the latest ABCs was due to increased interest from readers in downloading and digital music formats.

Overall sales in the rock music sector were up 2.7 per cent. Mojo, Q and Kerrang! publisher Stuart Williams said that Kerrang! readers were the heaviest users of social networking websites such as MySpace, and he said that the popularity of iPods and other MP3 players has benefited Mojo.

Williams told Press Gazette: "I think the multimedia model is very important. The fact that you've got Kerrang! Radio, Kerrang! TV and a great website is a virtuous circle. Lots of people are going to be blaming the internet for a decline in ABCs and circulation, but Kerrang! has totally bucked that trend."

Kerrang!'s circulation increased 24.2 per cent year on year to 80,186, and Mojo's sales grew by 6.2 per cent to 121,746. But Q's sales fell 1.3 per cent to 158,271.

Williams said that Q had suffered from the fall in the men's market, as it was the one magazine you didn't have be a huge fan of music to buy.

He added the drop was also due to the diminishing effect of cover-mount CDs and that the magazine was trying to phase them out.

IPC's weekly NME had a slight increase of 0.8 per cent to 74,206 ahead of a planned launch of nme.com news operations on the east and west US coasts. NME editor Conor McNicholas said that NME wouldn't have been as successful without nme.com, which celebrates its 10th birthday this year.

He said: "Trying to get people from the magazine to be website users won't make that much difference, but trying to get web users to be magazine buyers is a different thing. Nobody's cracked it, but we're trying lots of different things to try to make it happen."

Future's rock magazines both managed increases, with Classic Rock up 26.4 per cent to 56,037 year on year and Metal Hammer growing by 12.7 per cent to 45,359.

Metal Hammer and Classic Rock publisher Chris Ingham said: "The website at Metal Hammer has a lot to answer for its success of the last two years, because it's a really vibrant community."

He added: "A lot of Classic Rock's recent sales growth has been because there are a number people over the age of 30 who've got such busy lives they don't have time to go looking for new music, and Classic Rock is there to filter for them. They're putting classic-sounding new bands in the magazine, and they are a key editorial point."

Development Hell had mixed figures with struggling dance music title Mixmag down 10.1 per cent to 41,757, following a recent relaunch. Its monthly music/entertainment title The Word fared better with an increase of 5.3 per cent to 35,142.

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