Summary of our market study

The global magazine market has been in decline, particularly in Western markets such as Europe and the USA, where there has been a notable shift from print to digital consumption, affecting both circulation and advertising revenues. from 2020 onwards, press advertising revenues fell by 12.5% in Q1, while digital formats were increasingly adopted, with 125.7 million digital copies distributed.

The French market specifically reflects this trend, with paid circulation for the magazine press down 4.95%, and sales for magazine and periodical publishers reaching 5.035 billion euros, continuing a downward trajectory. Despite this downturn, the French still show a strong attachment to the printed press, pointing to a potentially mixed future for the sector as it continues its digital transformation.

Trends in the French magazine market

The French magazine market is undergoing a period of transformation, with changing formats and distribution dynamics reflecting global models. The traditional print magazine format is in decline, with new generations opting for digital content rather than physical copies. Paid circulation in France has fallen by around 30% in 7 years, reflecting a significant break with the traditional consumption habits of French readers. Publishers' advertising revenues are also falling.

The adoption of digital alternatives is not yet generating comparable revenues, leading to a period of uncertainty and adjustment for advertisers. These financial challenges are part of a broader global trend, with major Western markets recording a negative average annual growth rate of 5.5%. Despite these challenges, the French magazine sector is still showing signs of resilience, not least because of the French people's enduring attachment to the printed press. There is every reason to believe that this tradition will not be totally abandoned, even as digital technology takes on increasing importance.

Against this backdrop, the industry's main players are diversifying into new areas such as podcasts and video-on-demand platforms. While the market is in a transitional phase, the continuing demand for magazine content should not be overlooked; the means of reaching consumers has simply changed.

In terms of digital magazine consumption, a remarkable spike in website and app visits was observed, with a total reaching almost 7.7 billion, further reinforcing the ubiquitous digital trend.

Despite a fluctuating market, press readership in France remained stable, with between 95 and 100% of French individuals consuming the press monthly, and over three-quarters engaging with digital articles. Digital consumption is particularly widespread in the mobile sphere, where a growing number of French people prefer to access content.

The magazine press, particularly in consumer sectors such as fashion and automotive, exerts a substantial influence on affluent and decision-making demographics. In this sphere, magazines retain a crucial role as primary sources of information. If we look at the types of magazines in high demand, television-related publications come out on top, with leading titles such as "TV Magazine" boasting substantial print runs of around 4 million copies. This preference for TV magazines could be linked to their broader content, which includes broader elements of media culture, beyond simple program listings.

The landscape of magazine distribution channels is changing. Direct subscriptions and digital formats are gaining ground, currently accounting for over half of magazine circulation, while physical outlets are responsible for a smaller share of around 37%.

An overview of the key players in the French magazine publishing market

The French magazine market, while facing challenges linked to digital transformation and the changing consumer landscape, remains diverse, with several key players adapting to these changes. Below, we describe some of the major publishers and what they bring to the market.

  • SFR Presse Distribution: Known for distributing a variety of magazine titles, SFR Presse Distribution stands out in the French magazine landscape for its comprehensive selection encompassing diverse interests and sectors, including well-known titles such as "Ici Paris".

  • CMI Publishing: Headquartered in Levallois Perret, CMI Publishing is a leading publisher with a portfolio of well-known magazine titles, including "Télé 7 jours", "Public", "Elle", "Femina", "Marianne" and "Arts et Décorations". These publications focus on entertainment, celebrity news, art and culture, and offer readers a wide variety of content.

  • Prisma Media: Prisma Media, another big name in the industry, boasts a strong line-up of popular magazines such as "GEO" and "Femme actuelle". The publisher has established itself as a go-to source for lifestyle, travel and current affairs content.

  • Reworld Media Magazines: Reworld Media Magazines recently made headlines with its acquisition of Mondadori France. Its range of titles such as "Grazia", "Biba", "Marie-France", "AutoPlus" and "Le journal de la Maison" appeal to a wide audience, in line with its mission to provide content that resonates with contemporary readers.

  • Bayard Presse: Specializing in a somewhat different niche, Bayard Presse targets seniors with "Notre Temps" and has forged a strong market position with religious and lifestyle publications, including "La Croix".

  • Lexisnexis SA: Focusing more on specialized content, Lexisnexis SA publishes titles such as "La semaine juridique" - an essential resource for legal professionals - and comprehensive references such as the "Code du travail".

  • France Messagerie: Representing a key change in distribution, France Messagerie embodies the new era of French press distribution, focusing on optimizing flows between editeurs et les commerçants, playing a key role in ensuring that magazines reach their readers efficiently, whether via print or digital.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

A magazine is a press format for periodical publication, often illustrated. Magazines can cover a wide range of subjects, but are characterized by a precise editorial line. It is structured around an active community of readers, and is distributed by subscription as well as for individual sale.

The players in the magazine market in France are editors, printers, publishers, distributors and newsagents (press houses, newsstands, supermarkets, etc.)

The global market is in decline. Western markets, the main readers of magazines, are going through a difficult period. The magazine format is declining in popularity, particularly among the younger generation, who prefer other online formats. At the same time, the sector has begun a transition to digital distribution, a segment that is becoming increasingly dynamic.

This decline is also affecting the French market. Paid circulation (number of sales to broadcasters) fell by 30% between 2012 and 2019. Publishers' advertising revenues are also in decline, and the transition to digital is generating losses among advertisers who are not yet convinced by the new formats.

The market is therefore in a state of flux, with changing formats and a changing publishing landscape: major publishing groups are focusing on diversifying into podcasts and video/TV-on-demand platforms. What's more, demand is still there, only the way it's reached is changing.

It's also important to put the downturn in the sector into perspective, and remember that the French still have a strong attachment to the printed press. So we can only hope that the sector will regain momentum once its transformation is complete.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Evolution of magazine industry market size
  • Magazine paid circulation (245 titles)
  • Sales trends for magazine and periodical publishers
  • Comparison of sales index trends for magazine and periodical publishers
  • Press advertising revenues
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Latest news

Cafeyn organizes itself to pursue its founder's disappearing strategy - 20/12/2023
  • Cafeyn is a news streaming platform that aggregates nearly 3,000 international media and integrates an average of one each week
  • Cafeyn has around 2.5 million users in all its markets.
  • Death of its chairman and founder, Ari Assuied
  • The group has grown from around 30 employees to around 200 today.
  • Plans to consolidate the digital kiosk market and internationalize Cafeyn
  • Ongoingacquisition of competitor Readly in non-Scandinavian markets, including France.
  • Bonnier is to acquire 90% of Readly 's capital in order to delist it and enable the sale of its non-Scandinavian activities to Cafeyn (it already owns over 75%).
  • This acquisition will make Cafeyn the leading news distribution platform in Europe
  • Cafeyn, the news streaming platform , is already present in several countries, including the UK and Canada - both of which are experiencing strong growth -, the USA, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands - where Cafeyn acquired rival Blendle in 2020 - and Luxembourg.
  • In France, the arrival of a new competitor, PassPresse, launched by Prisma Media, and the end of the distribution partnership with Canal+ (a subsidiary of Vivendi, like Prisma Media).
McPhy signs a major contract in Germany for the supply of electrolysers - 18/12/2023
  • The company has won a contract in Germany valued at 60 million euros.
  • This is the largest contract ever signed by the company.
  • The company expects sales of 20 million euros in 2023, 36 million euros in 2024 and 71 million euros in 2025.
Webtoon: Media Participation's Ono platform joins forces with Korean studio - 29/11/2023
  • Ono is the platform of France's third-largest publishing company, Média-Participations.
  • Ono moves into the original territory of the webtoon.
  • Onovient joins forces with Kenaz, South Korea's largest independent webtoon producer Creation of a 50/50 joint venture
  • Kenaz works with over 400 creators worldwide.
  • Kenaz supplies content to various international clients, including Piccoma (Kakao), Webtoon (Naver), Apple Books (Japan and USA) and ByteDance (TikTok) in China.
  • Ono plans to produce webtoons in France in the coming months.
  • Translation and lettering costs from Korean to French are three times higher than the purchase of rights for Ono.
  • The Ono platform, launched eight months ago, boasts over 250,000 downloads.
  • Ono's ambition is to become the third major player in the sector in Europe, behind Naver and Piccoma.
  • Ono's catalog of web series will total 300 by the end of the year.
  • Ono has acquired some 50 series from Verytoon and 100 from Delitoon.
  • Ono plans to offer manga on their platform early next year.
In the Figaro Group fold, Gala magazine redoubles its ambitions - 17/11/2023
  • The Figaro Group acquired the weekly magazine Gala from Vivendi and its subsidiary Prisma Media in 2023.
  • Gala has changed ownership twice in three years, passing from Bertelsmann to Vivendi at the end of 2021, then to the Figaro Group in 2023.
  • Gala employs 60 journalists out of a total workforce of 70.
  • The Gala brand has over 9.4 million subscribers on TikTok, 60% of whom are located abroad.
  • Gala is the leading European media account on TikTok, and the fourth largest worldwide.
  • With the acquisition of Gala, the Figaro Group will reach 14.6 million women, representing 52% of the female population in France.
  • In 2022, Gala's sales amounted to 40 million euros, half of which came from advertising.
  • Gala's paid circulation in France is 123,123 copies a week, including 20,000 subscribers to the glossy magazine.
  • Gala has a daily readership of over 1.1 million.
  • During the Cannes Film Festival, Gala publishes a 96-page daily in French and English, with a circulation of 15,000.
Cafeyn founder dies - 10/10/2023
  • Cafeyn has 200 employees.
  • Ari Assuied, Cafeyn's founder and CEO, died aged 45 in Israel.
  • LeKiosk, co-founded by Ari Assuied in 2006, became Cafeyn in 2019.
  • Cafeyn is the French market leader in digital press kiosks.
  • Cafeyn has 3 million active users. Cafeyn is in the process of acquiring the activities of its main rival, Readly, in all non-Scandinavian markets (including France).
  • Together, Cafeyn and Readly offer over 7,000 publications worldwide.
  • Prisma Media recently launched a rival service called PassPresse.
  • Canal+ users have lost access to Cafeyn.
Bayard Group moves to Malakoff - 28/09/2023
  • The Bayard Group has been in business for 150 years.
  • It has 1,700 employees in France and around the world, 900 of whom are about to relocate.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Reworld Media
Prisma Media (Vivendi Groupe)
CMI France
Cafeyn Group
Le Figaro - Gala
Reporters Sans Frontières
Rossel La Voix Groupe
Media Participations
Bayard Presse Groupe
Unimédias (Crédit Agricole groupe)

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