Women’s variety magazines performed outstandingly and became a major driver of overall growth in magazine sales last year, according to a 2004 market survey of periodicals and daily newspapers conducted by Se-Education Plc.
The competition in the local magazine market is intense, with foreign brands, particularly in the women’s segment, introducing more sophisticated marketing tactics to win local readers.
There are also new Thailand-specific versions of foreign magazines, with much the same content as their foreign sister publications, but at a cheaper price.
About 86 new magazine titles hit the stands last year, an increase from 58 launched in 2003.
The number of registered newspaper agencies hit 398, an increase from 391 in 2003. The number of newspaper stands hit 14,137, an 8.7 per cent increase on 2003, according to the local association of newspaper agencies.
Se-Education operates 83 Se-Ed Book Centre stores and another 109 small book outlets in Bangkok and its outskirts. The company has 1,390 magazine titles and newspapers on its database, of which 649 are active.
The survey was conducted in the past three months and included more than 500 book outlets in Bangkok and its outskirts.
“According to our survey, female variety magazines enjoyed outstanding growth and the competition is quite tough in this category,” said Thanong Chotisorayuth, Se-Ed’s managing director.
He said the survey showed the top 10 best-selling magazines in the past three months were Cleo, TV Pool, Khoosang Khoosom, Cosmopolitan, Spicy, Or Sor Tor, FHM, Seventeen, Slimming, and Elle.
The survey showed six out of 10 of the best-selling magazines were foreign-licensed and three of them were women’s magazines: Cleo, Cosmopolitan and Elle.
Seventeen, a foreign-licensed magazine, has proven successful in the female teen category and Slimming has become the best-selling title among health magazines.
“The survey shows foreign-licensed magazines dominated most of the successful titles in the female variety magazine category. Foreign-licensed magazines also enjoyed success with local launches on the Thai market,” said Thanong.
Newly launched magazines and weekly newspapers, which hit local book stands during the past 12 months and successfully marched to claim some of the top rankings, include Slimming, PC Today, Hair, Biz Week, Positioning, Lisa Wellfit, Gossip Star, A Day Weekly, Marie Claire, Living Etc, Khon Chob Tiew, Car, Oops! and Cheeze.
“Our survey found that many magazines have launched sister magazines using elements of the same titles to gain higher sales,” said Thanong. He said that Elle female variety magazine launched Elle Decoration, while Lisa, another women’s magazine, also launched Lisa Weekly, Lisa Family, and Lisa Wellfit to diversify their products. A Day also launched A Day Weekly to enlarge its readership. Cosmopolitan recently launched a smaller version of the main publication at a cheaper price of just Bt60, but with much the same content as the original, which sells for Bt80.
Some magazines are also publishing more frequently – Khoosang Khoosom recently began printing every 10 days, rather than fortnightly.
The survey rated the top five most-popular daily newspapers as Thai Rath, Daily News, Kom Chad Luek, Khao Sod and Matichon. Krungthep Turakij, Post Today and Manager Daily were the top three best-selling daily business newspapers. Manager Weekly, Biz Week, Than Setthakit, and Prachachat Turakit came out on top among three-day and weekly magazines.
Of women’s magazines, Cleo, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Lisa Weekly occupied the top-five positions among women’s magazines, while FHM, Mars, GM, J-Spy, and the Boy Models Extra topped the men’s magazine category. A Day, Hamburger, Open, and Idea were the best-selling variety and entertainment magazines, and Spicy, Seventeen, Cawaii, Buzz and Cheeze were the best selling among female teenagers.
Published on March 01, 2005