Audience Engagement
2 mins read

Prima magazine defies industry pessimism and expands its volume of print editions

Hearst UK, the UK division of Hearst Corporation, has announced that women’s lifestyle magazine Prima will increase its print edition from 12 to 13 issues a year, starting in 2021. 

Launched in 1986, Prima magazine is one of the most popular and well-read magazines in the UK with a monthly circulation figure of 218,944 making it the fifth most popular title of its genre ranked by sales volume behind Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Woman and Home, and Yours.

The women’s lifestyle market segment has faced a perfect storm of circumstances over recent years, not least the severe decline in print display advertising which is deteriorating anywhere between 25-30% per year.

This makes Prima’s expansion of its print volume, at a time when competitors like Marie Claire have shut their print titles down, all the more remarkable.

A spokesperson for Hearst attributes the title’s success to it doubling down on content that fostered a sense of community and companionship amongst its readers, especially during COVID-19 lockdowns when many readers were, and are, feeling more isolated than usual. Prima has also focused on hobbies, arts and crafts, an editorial strategy that has paid dividends when many of its readers have had more time on their hands.

This emphasis on community and companionship was further underpinned by a sustained marketing campaign that led with the message ‘It’s like sitting down for a chat with your best friend’, an initiative that has seen new subscriber acquisitions increase by 68% in 2020.  

We want to use our marketing to highlight the feeling of happiness and excitement that the magazine brings every time it arrives through the door, as well as the colour, positivity, inspiration and feeling of friendship that the readers love, which is particularly important in times like this.

Gaby Huddart, Editorial Director of Lifestyle at Hearst UK

Jo Checkley, Editor of Prima, told What’s New in Publishing, “Prima is about community, friendship, fun and value and we mirrored all these qualities in our subscription campaign.

“Prima’s content with an emphasis on craft has also captured the zeitgeist feeling of the year with people wanting to try new hobbies and adopt more of that ‘make-do-and-mend’ attitude. Our exclusive sewing pattern has also proved so popular over recent months that we even had to increase the print run to meet demand.”

(Lead image: Jo Checkley, Editor, Prima)