The Week Kick-off: UK magazine industry worth £3.74bn

We kick-off the week with the news that the UK magazine sector is worth a whopping £3.74bn, according to a new report published by the country’s Professional Publishers Association (PPA) on Friday. We’ve also got the newly appointed MD of Apple Nigeria on African tech, Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire making waves in Saudi Arabia, and Marie Claire US jumping across the pond to the UK, to bring us back full circle… welcome to another week in the global media network! 

UK magazines remain strong

A new report published by the PPA in partnership with management consultancy firm Vendigital has shown that the UK’s magazine sector contributed £3.74bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) to UK PLC in 2019, taking into consideration both consumer and business media. This represents 35% of UK publishing and accounts for 55,000 jobs. Within this, the industry generates £518.9m of net inflow to UK PLC through exports to the world, with 73 million magazines sold to export markets in 2019. 

Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, UK magazine revenues are believed to have been resilient last year, as drops in advertising and newsstand revenue were in-part mitigated by increases in subscriptions, other direct-to-consumer revenue and alternative commercial channels (sponsorships, marketing services, etc.). You can read more here

Online Safety Bill

Staying in the UK momentarily, and the government last week published its Draft Online Safety Bill, which aims specifically to protect young people and clamp down on racist abuse online, while safeguarding freedom of expression including journalistic content. Marcela Kunova, Editor of, told FIPP

“We welcome the effort to protect young people online and clamp down on abuse and spread of misinformation. In its current form, the bill states that journalistic content will be largely exempted and so will be citizen journalism, which could be a minefield for social platforms. We will keep on monitoring the debate around the bill and inform the journalistic community about its implications.”

Apple Nigeria

Joining Apple three months ago, the company’s Managing Director for Nigeria, Teju Ajani has previously held roles for Google, and as YouTube’s Head of Content Partnerships for Sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier this week she joined a panel speaking at an Africa Soft Power event on ‘Technology and the Future of Participation’, in which she talked about the new wave of tech growth taking place not only in Nigeria, but across the continent at large.

“Africa is for a lot of people, still the one place they’re looking at and saying, I’m not quite sure what’s going on there. But whatever the case may be, as long as we are solving relevant problems with relevant solutions, adoption will come. And when adoption comes, investment will come, because naturally there is always an interest in leveraging those user opportunities.”

Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire: Changing the game for publishing in Saudi Arabia 

In February 2021, two of ITP Media’s most prized brands, Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire hit the shelves in Saudi Arabia. The bilingual publications are run by an ITP editorial team, including members based in Riyadh, who work with local contributors, stylists, photographers and content creators. They are the first international magazines curated specifically for the Saudi market.

In an exclusive interview for FIPP – which you can read in full here – Managing Director for ITP Media Group & ITP Saudi, Sue Holt said: 

“Previously, international and regionally based fashion media were only able to target Saudis when they left the country or, digitally, from outside the country. This meant the content being created was not specific and often based on assumed or a skewed assumptions of what Saudis wanted. And until relatively recently there was no way to feature Saudis in the fashion media unless they’d left the country and were Dubai-based, so more accessible. This led to a severe lack of representation for years, so the new launches of Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire Saudi will definitely help to both showcase and represent the people in Saudi Arabia.” 

Marie Claire US hops the pond to the UK

Future plc has acquired Marie Claire US, previously a joint venture between Hearst Magazines and MC International. The new licensing agreement will see the latter partner with Future on the brand, which has an audience of nearly 17.5 million monthly unique users. 

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said: “With nearly 17.5 million visitors a month, this is a flagship women’s lifestyle brand and I’m delighted that we are adding it to our already strong Women’s Lifestyle vertical. Our continued growth and success is proof of our strategy in action. We’ve had fantastic results expanding the Marie Claire UK brand and we believe that with our expertise in terms of audience, ecom and platform, we can develop the offering to grow the Marie Claire US audience significantly.” You can read more here

As for FIPP… 

We have now opened up registration for our all-new D2C Summit, presented in association with Robbie Baxter at Peninsula Strategies. The first 100 tickets will receive an Early Bird booking discount, with the event beginning in less than a month. Our pre-event training course on ‘How to build and better your subscriptions businesses’, hosted by Robbie, is now completely sold out, and you can find out more about the main event here.

Main Image: Adobe/AllisonLouvain


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