Motor Sport magazine – sales are up


A little bit of news, if you don’t mind indulging me. Motor sport has had a good year – both the sport and the magazine.

Actually, both the sport and the magazine… and the website, video, podcasts, app and all the other platforms on which we publish these days.

The sport has had a good year because we have seen more activity, more action, more championships, more competitors and more engagement than we’ve seen for a very long time. From Formula 1 to historics, it’s been mega.

From a Motor Sport editorial perspective, we’ve had a pretty good year too.

I’m posting this now because the annual ABC results – the charts for magazine sales – was published yesterday and our magazine sales are up.

Every other comparable classic and motor racing title has shown a slight decline, which doesn’t make us happy (far from it) but does give some context. Motor Sport magazine has rubbed tyres with some seriously powerful rivals, and come off pretty well.

That we’re truly independent too, with no other editorial brand in our portfolio to rely on for cross-selling or promotion, makes us doubly proud.

Overall, there are a number of reasons to be optimistic about the classic and motor racing magazine sector. Magazines remain crucial to those with an interest in our subject because they provide depth in a world of increasingly transient messaging.

For instance, I personally applaud Liberty’s social media drive but magazines provide the story behind the social. Magazines like ours.

Our ABC sales increase is tiny – more tenths than seconds – but we’ll take it. We’ll take it because 2017 saw a fair amount of upheaval among the Motor Sport operation, with a new editor taking charge (er, me), plus new recruitments across the board to ensure we are fit for a multi-platform future. Which if you excuse the jargon, means digital.

Now, we haven’t ignored print in 2017 – far from it. We redesigned the magazine back in October, and continue to a huge amount of effort into the print content. However, our focus for much of the year has been preparing our team for a big push on digital. Therefore the magazine sales increase has come as a nice surprise.

From an online perspective, as I write this we are seeing considerable growth on our digital platforms too – but I’m reluctant to crow about this too much until we have another six months under our belt.

I joined Motor Sport in January 2017 having edited a big modern motoring title (evo). I loved Motor Sport, and the excellent work of previous editor Damien Smith. But I didn’t really know the team, and I didn’t quite know what to make of its independent status having enjoyed being an Editor in the mighty Dennis Publishing stable of mags.

What I found was simply thus – a brilliant, passionate, experienced, dedicated and tireless group of people.

These tenths of a second are down to them, and that includes the engine room of people behind the scenes who keep the wheels spinning.

As I said, forgive the indulgence – but we’re pretty happy today. And happy that you continue to enjoy our journalism. Thank you.

Now I’m off to look at some data to find some seconds...

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