Future suffers readership decline despite digital growth

Greg Lockley
Future suffers readership decline despite digital growth

UK publishing outfit Future suffers shrinking audience numbers across its gaming brands.

The latest figures from publishing watchdog ABC reveal Edge’s digital edition saw the biggest growth of Future’s brands as its circulation rose by 68.7 per cent year-on-year for the period ending December 2013.

Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox: The Official Magazine both experienced increases too as the publications rose their digital readerships by 67.8 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively.

But despite this digital growth, the lowered print circulations of the publications has seen their overall audience reach decline.

Official Nintendo Magazine suffered the biggest decline of 26.58 per cent as its print sales fell to 18,743.

Elsewhere, the combined print and digital readership of Edge fell 19.89 per cent to 20,485 issues, while Official Xbox Magazine dropped by 19.63 per cent to just 37,519 issues.

Meanwhile, PC Gamer’s combined print and digital figures fell 10.03 per cent to 22,054 as Gamesmaster decline by 10.49 per cent to 17,492 sales.

Official PlayStation magazine suffered the smallest decline at just 4.92 per cent and 29,973 issues.

“We continue to invest online, on tablet & smartphone and in print, delivering content where and when our consumers want it,” said Lee Nutter, head of Future Games.

“We have delivered a solid set of ABC results in these changing times and it’s extremely encouraging to see digital edition growth for PlayStation: The Official Magazine, Xbox: The Official Magazine and Edge. We are always looking to respond to our consumers and drive innovation, and video is a central part of that strategy, so it is fantastic to see the rapid growth of our YouTube channels.”

But it's not all decline as Future’s digital growth has been bolstered by the rise of its online figures.

OfficialPlayStationMagazine recorded a rise of 134 per cent over the previous year with 994,230 unique users as of January 2014. Totalbox achieved 44 per cent growth with 1.4m unique visitors while PCGamer.com experienced growth of just seven per cent and 5.3m unique monthly visitors.

Elsewhere, online-only news site CVG recorded a 46 per cent year-on-year traffic increase to 3.8m as GamesRadar boosted its year-on-year traffic by 53 per cent to 6.6m unique users.

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Tags: future , future publishing , readership , abc figures

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