Generation Media reviews the latest ABC results: LEGO, Frozen and pre-school brands reign supreme

Following yesterday’s ABC release, Ellie Start, senior account manager at Generation Media, outlines the key changes in the kids press marketplace and gets a view from publishers and media owners working in that space.
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Thursday, August 11th was one of the biggest days of the year for press buyers, planners and publishers, marking the January to June 2016 ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) consumer magazine report release.

In the world of toys, we see advertisers continue to support the use of kids press in their media strategies, and rightly so.

We saw again yesterday that kids press remains one of the most stable sectors in the UK press market, with its overall circulation staying more or less flat period-on-period (with a fall of just 1.9 per cent).

The last report (July to December 2015) saw Frozen dominate and in spite of selling c.14k less copies per issue period-on-period, the title remains the largest in the Primary Girls market.

Ian Carter, commercial director of Media Shed (the sales agency for the title), argues that while girls still love Frozen, seasonality is a key driver for this brand, with the winter concept not as relevant in the spring months.

Free gifts continue to be a key sales driver for the girls titles, with sales representatives from both Girl Talk (who demonstrated a circulation increase of 27 per cent year-on-year) and Sparkle World (up 15 per cent year-on-year) believing that their recent strong cover mount offerings have certainly contributed to their circulation growths.

The Primary Boys sector has grown by 66.7 per cent over the last year, driven largely by the success of new and existing LEGO titles, which account for a 45 per cent share of the Primary Boys circulations. While the majority of LEGO titles now do not take advertising, the alternative Toxic continues to grow, with another circulation increase in yesterday’s ABCs.

Media Shed attributes Toxic’s success to their investment in research, with frequent panels run to ensure editors are always up to date with the latest boys trends.

Peppa Pig remains at the top of the Pre-school category with a combined average circulation across its two titles of 144,909.

Licences continue to drive the Pre-School sector, with three new titles entering the ABCs over the last period. With Paw Patrol’s recent launch, and Teletubbies and Bing set for release in autumn, Pre-School looks to remain the largest division in the kids press market.

So what lies ahead?

With kids press holding up, it’s clear this market isn’t heading into decline anytime soon. This doesn’t mean the market is without its challenges, with Egmont recently following the BBC in outsourcing their sales in what is assumed to be a move to keep down costs.

Finally, a recent Egmont research piece supports the strength of the sector, highlighting that parents still value the physicality of magazines and welcome the break they offer from their child’s increasing screen time.

Parents still continue to enjoy the educational value and bonding with their children through the reading and activities.

For more information, call Ellie Start, senior account manager at Generation Media, on 0207 307 7900

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