Magazine ABCs: Maxim circulation in 60 per cent crash

Dennis’s men’s monthly, Maxim, was the worst hit in the men’s lifestyle sector, losing over half its sales year on year following a disastrous first year at the helm for new editor Michael Donlevy.

The title’s sales dropped 59.6 per cent year on year down to 43,542, despite a more grown-up redesign to move the title away from its traditional ‘lads’ mag’roots, sliding down below Men’s Fitness and Esquire.

Bauer Consumer Media’s Arena recorded a 22.4 per cent rise period on period and stayed stable year on year at 30,896, proving wrong the critics who predicted another double digit decline for the title, which has struggled to find a new editor since Giles Hattersley returned to the Sunday Times. However, 5,709 of those were dished out for free.

Esquire’s redesign and subscriptions push again proved worthwhile, and the title recorded a year-on-year increase of 8.6 per cent to 58,136 – 16,537 of those subscriptions and 6,687 were free.

Men’s Health and GQ both continued to see steady increases – Men’s Health up 2.2 per cent year on year to 245,212 and GQ up 1.7 per cent to 130,008. However, both had frees to take into account – Men’s Health at 13,854 and GQ at 9,800.

NatMag Rodale’s Men’s Health also has the highest subscription figure for the whole sector at 66,044.

Maxim was not the only traditional ‘lads’ mag’title that showed double-digit decline. Paid-for market leader FHM dropped 10 per cent year on year to 280,392 and Loaded dropped 20.8 per cent to 95,371.

However, IPC’s Loaded can boast a 100 per cent actively purchased paid-for distribution, as can weeklies Nuts and Zoo.

IPC’s Nuts saw a 9.8 per cent decline year on year to

  • 250,061 and Bauer Consumer Media rival Zoo, over which it still holds a healthy lead, dropped 13.6 per cent year on year to 161,331.

In the technology sector, BBC Focus magazine is creeping closer to its rival, Haymarket’s Stuff. Focus saw the biggest increase in the sector up 14.1 per cent to 70,122, while Stuff dropped 5.1 per cent to 88,081.

The weekly frees, Shortlist and Sport, didn’t increase their distribution models, both remaining stable.

Men’s lifestyle magazine ABCs for first half of 2008 – year on year change


  • Shortlist – 481,320 n/a
  • Sport – 315,406 down 0.5 per cent
  • Nuts – 250,061 down 9.8 per cent
  • Zoo – 161,331 down 13.6 per cent


  • FHM – 280,392 down 10 per cent
  • Men’s Health – 245,212 up 2.6 per cent
  • GQ – 130,008 up 1.7 per cent
  • Loaded – 95,371 down 20.8 per cent
  • Men’s Fitness – 65,626 up 0.4 per cent
  • Esquire – 58,136 up 8.6 per cent
  • Maxim – 43,542 down 59.6 per cent
  • Square Mile magazine 32,072 n/a
  • Arena – 30,896 same
  • PROFILE 20,000 n/a
  • Hedge Magazine 5,346 n/a


  • Stuff – 80,081 down 5.1 per cent
  • Focus – 70,122 up 14.1 per cent

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