Uncut hits a high note as Emap's Q misses a beat

Q has posted one of its lowest circulation figures and could soon be in the sights of Uncut, according to the IPC title’s publishing director.

Neil Robinson told Press Gazette: “Every time Q issues an ABC at the moment it loses 10,000 buyers and that’s since it has introduced a new editor and its new positioning. Our dream would be that Uncut could overtake Q. That’s obviously some way down the line but it’s quite possible in the future.”

Q, edited by Paul Rees, fell 10.3 per cent year-on-year, but is expected to be redesigned this summer. Titles appealing to older music fans have benefited, with Uncut up 21.9 per cent and Mojo recording a 4 per cent rise to 104,437.

But Dave Henderson, managing director of rock at Emap, was unconcerned.

“Q is still the biggest magazine by some stretch in a market that’s become incredibly crowded with new launches and one-shots, which have made us loads of money.”

However, Henderson, who is also responsible for Kerrang! and Mojo, admitted that music magazines would have to implement big changes to keep up with consumer trends.

“We’ve just done a huge piece of research across the three magazines which looks at how people consume music,” he said. “We have been evolving the magazines and changing them as we’ve been going along, but we haven’t gone far enough.

“We’ve got to change. Q launched a million years ago when people were going out and buying CDs. I’m a music fan and I don’t go down to HMV to get music. Some you order over the internet; some you download. People’s listening experience is completely different now.”

NME benefited from its autumn revamp and the closures of Bang and X-ray, which launched in the wake of the renaissance in guitar bands. NME posted a circulation of 72,557, down 1.1 per cent year-on-year.

The metal titles suffered a drop, with Kerrang! down by 17.7 per cent and Metal Hammer and Rock Sound falling by 17.6 and 17.8 per cent respectively.

Sales of Mixmag dipped 16.5 per cent to 50,182 – less than half its circulation during its heyday in 2000.

Stephen Palmer, managing director of pop at Emap, denied Mixmag would close. “The fashionability of clubbing and dance music was handed over to rock, but we have seen that slow down.

Hopefully there will be some new phenomena that will encourage people to be interested in that area again.”

By Sarah Boden

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