New Gay Market Research Adds Up the Buying Power of Pink Pounds - All 70 Billion of Them

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For the first time new research, released today in London, reveals just how much the UK gay market is actually worth. Britain's 3 million gay and lesbian citizens last year earned over 70 billion pounds. This income - along with fewer children in gay households - leads to higher disposable gay incomes that are now attracting the marketing attention of some of the UK's biggest companies.

In terms of gay household incomes, the relative absence of children in gay relationships does increase the average levels of disposable income available for discretionary spending on these various consumer categories.

The Pink Pound has been revealed to be worth over 70 billion pounds annually in the UK. New gay market research by Out Now Consulting for Gay Times and Diva magazines shows that the UK lesbian and gay community earned this much income last year, and appear to be spending much of it with gay abandon on a range of consumer expenditure categories.

Findings of the 'Out Now Diva and Gay Times Readers Surveys' reveal that British lesbians and gay men, on average, are very well-employed, well-paid and are out spending their incomes on a range of lifestyle product categories.

"This is not necessarily news to us, as we have been working with companies to help them understand how to reach gay customers for over 15 years now," says Ian Johnson, managing director of Out Now Consulting - a specialist gay marketing consultancy that carried out the research. "What is new, however, in the UK market, is that because of this research, and for the first time, the value of gay consumers' expenditure on so many product categories can now be accurately measured. Importantly, these new figures include both gay men and lesbians. Other gay research in Britain has focused almost exclusively on men, and has not accurately captured simultaneous data from the lesbian segment of the gay market. This new research does this for the first time."

"The gay market is big business," says Johnson.

Last month UK administration officials at Whitehall revealed the total number of gay and lesbian people in the UK is believed by the British government to be 6% of the total adult population, or 3 million people.

"Now that the market is able to be accurately measured, more companies are developing marketing plans to better position their brands to attract gay and lesbian customers," says Johnson. "Benchmark UK brands such as Barclays Bank, British Telecom (BT), HMV and British Airways have all shown marketing interest in targeting the spending power of the gay and lesbian community. These companies are assessing their products, their communications and their distribution strategies to improve their gay market positioning. This trend seems set to continue with the improved insight into this market provided by this new research."

The research reveals that last year gays and lesbians in the UK spent more than 800 million pounds buying CDs, and even more (843 million pounds) on DVDs. Similar amounts were spent buying books and magazines.

Leisure travel features very highly in gay and lesbian spending patterns with total expenditure of more than 3 billion pounds being spent on tourism during 2005.

Mobile phone bills accounted for more than 1 billion pounds of gay market spending whilst clothing accounted for a further 1.9 billion pounds.

"These survey results show that, when it comes to new technology and media products, gay men and lesbians are quick to adapt, they consume certain product categories strongly, and enjoy average incomes higher than UK national averages," according to Kim Watson, Deputy Managing Director at MPG - publisher of Diva and Gay Times magazines.

Interesting differences are revealed in this new research between gay men and lesbians.

Gay men spent more on leisure travel, DVDs and clothing last year than lesbians did, but UK lesbians outspent UK gay men in 2005 on their mobile telephone bills and on buying magazines and are far more likely than gay men to take a honeymoon after registering their civil partnerships.

Johnson also added that it is important to realise that not every lesbian or gay person is affluent or able to spend as much as others. "Gays and lesbians are a very diverse group of people, and quite obviously not everyone is earning above average incomes," says Johnson. "In terms of gay household incomes, the relative absence of children in gay relationships does increase the average levels of disposable income available for discretionary spending on these various consumer categories."

Notes to editors:

Publication of this information must be credited as the "Out Now 2005 Diva and Gay Times Readers Surveys", for copyright reasons.

6% of UK adults are believed to be lesbian or gay. Source: Whitehall, December 2005.

The report by Out Now Consulting, was undertaken following independent research with more than 1,000 readers of Diva and Gay Times magazines between March and October 2005. Sample size is 1118 respondents.

Average income of lesbian respondents is £21,593 per annum, rising to £24,783 per annum for those working full-time. Average income of gay male respondents is £28,841 per annum rising to £34,168 for respondents working full-time.

These figures are considerably higher than the UK national averages for men and women in general. Most recently published UK national average wage is £18,531 for women in full-time work and £24,236 for men in fulltime work (source: ASHE Gender Pay survey 2004).

Gay Times and Diva (published by Millivres Prowler Ltd.) are Europe's best selling gay and lesbian glossy news stand magazines. Gay Times was launched in 1984 and Diva in 1994, both titles are distributed by Seymour Distribution Ltd. Millivres Prowler Ltd. is Europe’s largest media business targeting the gay and lesbian market and celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2004. In that same year the company registered as a Stonewall 'Diversity Champion' and achieved 'Investors In People' accreditation.

The calculations above are based on the UK gay market comprising a total of 3 million people, and expenditure levels revealed in this research being typical across the market. The data reflects the reported figures from readers of Diva and Gay Times magazines - the UK's best selling lesbian and gay magazines.

Established in 1992, Out Now Consulting is a leading source for gay marketing research and strategy, and is a global gay market agency relied upon by organisations involved with lesbian and gay people. Services include market research, training, advertising, public relations and strategy development.

Out Now clients include Barclays Bank, IBM, Toyota, German National Tourist Office, Qantas Airways, Visit Britain, Lufthansa, South African Tourism and Citibank.

For further information please contact:

Ian Johnson, Managing Director

Out Now Consulting    

UK mobile: +44-7906 553 990

BE landline: +32-2-514 6443

BE mobile: +32-4737 60886


Kim Watson, Millivres Prowler Ltd.

Mobile: +44-7813 475402

Direct Line: +44-20-7424 7460



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