Saturday, June 15, 2024


Displaying studied irony, Britain’s best-selling monthly motorcycle magazine is now one that harks back to a bygone era.

According to Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) data for 2015, Bauer Consumer Media’s Classic Bike sold an average of 37,135 print copies per month last year, holding station in a generally diminishing dead-tree publishing market with a slight 0.1% rise.

Classic Bike doesn’t bother with a digital edition, presumably because its aficionados’ access to information technology is limited to listening to the BBC Home Service on the wireless and playing 78rpm records on their wind-up gramophones.

Bauer’s other retro title, Practical Sportsbikes, which caters for enthusiasts of muscular machines from the 70s, 80s and 90s, doesn’t offer internet-enabled perusal either. But it has nevertheless increased print circulation by 2.9% to 19,862 copies.

However, leading modern mainstream publications from Bauer are doing less well. ABC reported that Bike suffered a 7.1% decline in print sales to a monthly average of 34,387 copies. And flagship weekly MCN was 4.8% down to 72,607 copies.

Bike, which has recently benefited from an editorial makeover hopefully to regain lost ground or slow further losses, did achieve progress with digital availability though — albeit from a low base. Online subscriptions were up by 41.9% to 2697. MCN digital was up by 27.8% to 1896 e-readers.

Better news appeared elsewhere in the Bauer monthlies stable. RiDE put on 2% to 32,866 print copies and increased digital readership by 50.8% to 1772. Performance Bikes also seems to have arrested its remorseless retreat, adding 0.9% to a print total of 15,674 and upping online subs by 64.1% to 1190.

Principal competitor Mortons Motorcycle Media can boast a larger range of powered two-wheeler periodicals but doesn’t independently authenticate any of its sales via ABC.    



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