NME down more than 25% year on year

Classic Rock only music title to increase sales year on year as sector slumps by almost 10%

New Musical Express and Kerrang! were the biggest casualties as the consumer music magazine sector suffered a combined circulation drop of nearly 10% in the first half of 2009.

IPC Media's NME, which was overtaken by Future Publishing monthly Metal Hammer for the first time in the second half of last year, had an average weekly circulation of 40,948 in the first half of 2009, down 27.2% on the same period in 2008.

Bauer Media's Kerrang! remains ahead of NME, but only just. Now also overtaken by Metal Hammer, Kerrang! saw its average sales fall 28.3% year on year to 43,253. Metal Hammer lost 5.2% sales year on year, down to 46,004.

Bauer Media's Q remains the market leader despite losing 11.5% of its sales year on year, down to 100,172. Q's Bauer stablemate Mojo also lost sales, down 8.1% year on year to 97,722. But Q's lead over Mojo has been reduced to just 2,450 compared with 6,807 a year ago.

Future Publishing's Classic Rock was the only paid-for music title to record a year-on-year increase, up 5.5% to 70,301. Classic Rock closed the gap on IPC's Uncut, which was down 12% to 76,526. In the first half of last year Uncut's lead over Classic Rock was 20,293. Now it is 6,225.

Channelfly Enterprises's free music monthly The Fly remains the sector leader with an average distribution of 107,771, up 2.4% year on year.

Overall, the music sector's combined circulation of 582,697 was down 9.4% year on year and 5% on the last six months of 2008.

In the film sector, both Bauer's Empire and Future Publishing's Total Film added sales year on year. Empire was up 3.6% to 194,016, and Total Film was up 0.6% to 85,031.

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John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

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