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Magazines ABC Q2 2021: Lift off for magazines

The latest results released by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) of South Africa is "something worth shouting about!"
Magazines ABC Q2 2021: Lift off for magazines

This was the sentiment of the ABC in a statement following the release of its Q2 results. “The latest ABC results show magazines are up by 11% for the same period. Compared to the numbers in Q4 2020 – Magazines are up 4%,” says the ABC. Categories, specifically travel titles, that previously took a beating also seem to be making a slow comeback.

The Bureau says that this is despite an incredibly depressed economy suffering from looting, junk status, and the effects of extended periods of Covid-lockdowns.

To overcome this, some titles have decreased their frequency with a focus on fewer but more editorially packed titles, while smaller titles have moved to new publishers that have revitalised these titles, shaping the good news story for magazines.

“Time will tell whether the magazine industry - and print industry in general - has progressed beyond the cycle’s bottom and can now anticipate growth, added the ABC.

Consumer magazines

Only three sectors in this category had three or more titles show good gains on the previous quarter. Once again, the Business and News sector was strong as in Q1 with three titles with good gains: SA Real Estate Investor Magazine, Forbes and Finweek.

The Home sector had four titles make gains, while Women’s General had three. However, the gains of the titles in Business and News were greater than the Home titles. Tuis was the best in the Home sector with a 10.9% increase. In the Business and News sector, SA Real Estate Investor Magazine showed a 55.7% increased, and in the Women’s General sector Fair Lady had a 22.9% increase.

The Entertainment, Leisure, Male, Parenting and Conservation and Wildlife sectors had no gains, only losses or no gain no loss (0.0%). The Women’s Special sector had no activity.

Arts, Culture and Heritage
PublicationPeriodFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Jewish LifeApr -JunMtly08,4758,4756.1%47.7%
Val de Vie MagazineJan -Dec2xA45914,90015,3590.0%45.4%
Business and News
Business Brief.Jan -JunAltM29,3462,00331,349-39.7%-40.8%
Financial MailApr -JunWkly, Fr9,8823,00012,882-1.0%
FinweekApr -JunF9,6212,30811,9291.2%-3.0%
Forbes AfricaJan -JunAltM6,5202,7919,31112.6%27.0%
Personal FinanceJan -DecQ00No Submission
SA Real Estate Investor MagazineApr -JunMtly017,22117,22155.7%10.9%
The Big Issue MagazineApr -JunMtly4,8042225,026
Conservation and Wildlife
African BirdlifeJan -JunAltM6,7307487,478-0.5%-19.3%
KRUGER MAGAZINEJan -Dec4xA00No Submission
Eat OutJan -DecAnn14,5674,94219,5090.0%-1.4%
TV Plus (Afrikaans)Apr -JunF13,226013,226-9.5%-15.3%
TV Plus (English)Apr -JunF4,00004,000-19.1%-25.9%
Family Interest
DrumApr -JunWkly, Fr00Discontinued
HuisgenootApr -JunWkly, Tue129,0686,793135,861-3.1%-8.2%
LIGApr -Jun11xA00Changed Frequency
Plus 50Jan -Jun6xA6,9571267,08315.6%13.7%
The CrestJan -Jun7xA012,20212,202-4.0%-0.2%
The RidgeJan -Jun8xA016,01316,0131.6%3.8%
Things to do with kids MagazineJan -DecQ00Resigned
YouApr -JunWkly, Wed67,0073,57470,581-3.0%-1.4%
FarmbizApr -JunMtly00Discontinued
Farmer's WeeklyApr -JunWkly, Fr7,65487,662-4.5%
Grond tot MondJan -DecQ2,4782,4714,9490.0%-32.8%
LandbouweekbladApr -JunWkly, Wed16,591616,597-9.1%-14.0%
Landbouweekblad VeeJan -DecAnn9,68109,6810.0%24.1%
Marktoe!Apr -JunMtly09,9009,9000.0%25.3%
Veeplaas.Apr -Jun11xA5,5153,2458,7602.0%33.2%
Health & Wellbeing
Grow to EatJan -Dec3xA11,5152,81114,3260.0%
Odyssey Magazine.Jul -JunQ1,9042,9644,86821.3%21.3%
Conde Nast House & GardenApr -JunMtly9,6742,01211,686
Easy DIYJul -JunQ3,7942,4926,286
Idees/IdeasJan -JunAltM14,7981,11715,9150.1%4.6%
Lose It,Jan -DecQ15,996015,9960.0%-9.7%
SA Home OwnerApr -Jun11xA19,1405,20224,3420.5%
Sarie Kos,Jul -JunQ24,480024,4807.1%7.1%
The Gardener / Die TuinierApr -JunMtly20,0713,87723,948-11.4%2.3%
Tuis HomeJan -JunMtly81,7714,19085,96110.9%19.3%
VisiJan -Jun6xA12,04523412,279-9.7%-17.1%
Let’s Braai / Kom ons Braai (former The Ultimate Braai)Jul -JunAnn7,5611107,671-45.2%-45.2%
Silver DigestJan -Dec4xA08,6268,6260.0%-16.3%
Southern VinesJan -DecQ00No Submission
Destiny Man MagazineJan -JunAltM00No Submission
GQ..Jan -Dec5xA3,9431,8655,8080.0%-59.6%
Men's HealthApr -JunMtly00Discontinued
Popular MechanicsApr -JunMtly13,6341,07114,705
Very Interesting (former Braintainment)Jan -JunAltM8,4661,5049,970-20.7%
Bike SAApr -JunMtly12,3271,50413,83114.4%
CarApr -JunMtly34,57210,61245,184-4.6%
Driven MagazineApr -JunMtly013,76713,767
Baba & Kleuter.Dec -JunAltM00Resigned
Baby's and BeyondJan -DecQ2,1995,8708,0690.0%-42.4%
Child Magazine - Cape Town,Jan -DecQ00Resigned
Child Magazine - Durban,Jan -DecQ00Resigned
Child Magazine - Johannesburg,Jan -DecQ00Resigned
Child Magazine Pretoria,Jan -DecQ00Resigned
MamaMagic MilestonesJan -DecQ00Digital Only
Your Pregnancy.Jan -JunAltM00Resigned
AnimaltalkApr -JunMtly2,89364,35267,2456.3%71.3%
Dog DirectoryJul -JunAnn7,9253628,287
Sport and Hobby
Africa's Sportsman MagazineJan -Dec4xA00Resigned
BicyclingJan -JunAltM00Resigned
Compleat GolferApr -JunMtly4,2761,4005,6761.2%
Kick OffApr -JunMtly12,6861,95414,640-6.4%-30.3%
MagnumJan -JunMtly10,746010,746-17.9%1.6%
Runners World.Jan -JunAltM00Resigned
SA Cricket.Jan -DecQ00No Submission
SA RugbyApr -JunMtly12,4662,48514,951-6.4%
Wildland MagazineApr -JunMtly57,9172,25660,1732.6%6.8%
Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
Cape Etc.Jan -Dec3xA1,7126,1617,8730.0%-22.8%
GetawayApr -JunMtly14,2842,06016,344-14.6%
go! Drive & Camp and Weg! Ry & SleepJan -JunMtly36,0911,20037,29120.3%73.6%
The Great Outdoors Guide / Die Groot BuitelewegidsJan -DecAnn00No Issues
TravelIdeas.Jan -JunAltM00Resigned
Weg / Go PlattelandJul -JunQ22,999022,999-1.6%-1.6%
Weg/GoJan -JunAltM53,67795954,63610.8%18.6%
Woman's General
Destiny Magazine.Jan -JunAltM00No Submission
FairladyJan -JunAltM41,99883242,83022.9%52.4%
Glamour,Jan -DecQ8,6673,89512,5620.0%-56.3%
KuierApr -JunF69,964069,964-6.2%-0.4%
Move!Apr -JunF00Discontinued
SarieJan -JunMtly69,0391,89170,93013.4%33.4%
True LoveJan -JunMtly24,9072,36727,2745.8%42.0%
Women & Home MagazineApr -JunMtly24,7093,24127,950
Women's Health.Apr -Jun11xA00Discontinued
Woman's Special
BruidsgidsJan -DecAnn00No Submission
SA Wedding AlbumJan -Dec2xA00Ceased Publishing
TroukoorsJan -DecAnn00Resigned
Wedding GuideJul -JunAnn00Changed Cycle
Barbie MagazineApr -JunMtly5,7901,5677,35715.9%
Barbie Magazine.Jan -Jun6Wk00Changed Frequency
Careers MagazineApr -JunMtly00No Submission
Post MatricJan -DecAnn00Resigned
The Official Safeways K53 Learner's and Driver's Manual.Jan -DecAnn00No Submission
Very Interesting JuniorApr -JunMtly9,1603,69312,853-27.9%-40.8%

B2B magazines

It was a mixed bag for the B2B category, with gains and losses over the previous quarter as well as a number of no gains, no losses in with sprinklings of no submissions and resignation. However, 12 publications saw excellent increases over the previous quarter. The Industry section had three titles show gains - Cold Link Africa (138.7%), Industrial Buyer (27.9%) and Resource (96.1%). All these titles also had gains on the prior year.

In the Communications category The Gapp Magazine increased by 436.7% and Nex Media by 33.4%. Both also increased on the prior year. The former Frontshop, now Pharmacy Magazine, was once again the best in the Retail Category (as in Q1) with a 49.2% increase over the previous quarter and a 208.4% on the prior year. It was one of many titles that increased both on the previous quarter and year, including SA Graan/Grain, Leading Architecture & Design, Water & Sanitation Africa, Medical Chronicle, and SA Affordable Housing.

Sabi Magazine (-61.6%), Northern Cape Business (-48.6%) and Eastern Cape Business (48.5%) were some of the biggest decreases on the previous quarter. DIY And Industrial Trade News decreased on the previous quarter reversing its good gains in Q1.

PublicationPeriodFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Agri Inc. Die Boer / The Farmer.Jan -JunAltM00Changed Publisher
OVK Nuus/NewsJan -Dec4xA04,8734,8730.0%0.4%
Pro AgriApr -JunMtly00No Submission
SA Graan / GrainApr -JunMtly020,38220,38228.8%28.3%
SABI MagazineJan -JunAltM5836841-61.6%
StockfarmApr -JunMtly5,9871,7647,7516.2%34.6%
WinelandApr -JunMtly833,1413,224-0.6%-0.6%
earthworks.Jan -DecQ1388,5808,7180.0%2.2%
Floors in AfricaJan -Jun7xA010,88910,889-39.5%-38.3%
Leading Architect & DesignJan -JunAltM627,8897,95122.8%8.5%
SA Building ReviewJan -DecAnn1,2029,83411,0360.0%-4.0%
Timber IQJan -JunAltM47,2017,20512.9%64.8%
To BuildJan -Dec3xA06,9416,9410.0%-29.2%
Walls & Roofs in AfricaJan -Jun7xA011,14611,146-34.5%-35.9%
Road Ahead, TheJan -DecQ00Resigned
SA TREADSJul -JunQ00No Submission
Civil Construction
Civil EngineeringApr -Jun11xA2014,41214,4321.3%2.1%
Concrete TrendsJan -DecQ01,9681,9680.0%10.7%
Construction Review.Jan -JunAltM0980980-45.7%
Construction WorldApr -JunMtly012,15612,1561.4%36.6%
IMIESAApr -Jun11xA512,86212,867-1.4%113.1%
Spec HandbooksJan -DecAnn12,4052,4060.0%
Nex MediaJul -Jun4xA057,02557,02533.4%33.4%
SA ProfileJan -DecAnn1,02027,28728,3070.0%-5.3%
The Gapp MagazineJan -JunAltM011,48611,486436.7%33.8%
Electrical Engineering
Electricity & ControlApr -JunMtly09,8689,8683.2%51.2%
ESI AfricaJul -JunQ02,5912,591
Sparks Electrical NewsApr -JunMtly010,19810,1980.5%63.4%
Engineering - Other
Capital Equipment NewsApr -JunMtly09,4489,4483.5%44.4%
DataweekApr -JunF02,5842,584-2.6%
MechChem AfricaApr -JunMtly00Changed Frequency
MechChem Africa.Jan -JunAltM07,1967,19614.1%
Motion ControlJul -JunQ01,9801,980
Plumbing AfricaApr -JunMtly1268,4588,5842.6%52.0%
Refrigeration and AirconditioningApr -JunMtly217,0187,039-18.6%35.6%
SA Instrumentation & ControlApr -JunMtly03,8453,845-2.3%
Water & Sanitation AfricaJan -JunAltM107,8407,85040.6%40.9%
Health and Wellbeing
Fire ProtectionJan -DecQ7152199340.0%-37.3%
Hi-Tech Security SolutionsApr -Jun11xA03,7353,7352.4%
International Dentistry Africa EditionJan -JunAltM00Resigned
MDR Medical Desk ReferenceJan -DecAnn8634311,2940.2%13.9%
Medical ChronicleApr -Jun11xA120,47920,48049.1%91.9%
MIMSApr -JunMtly2,5293192,848-24.6%-3.6%
MIMS Guide to OTC ProductsJan -DecAnn00Resigned
Modern Medicine Magazine.Jan -JunAltM6333,3613,994-3.6%-14.2%
SHEQ ManagementJan -JunAltM00No Submission
South African Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic ReviewApr -Jun11xA33,3983,40112.9%18.4%
The Specialist Forum JournalApr -Jun11xA015,87415,87411.2%105.2%
Hospitality, Catering and Tourism
Explore South Africa.Jan -DecQ00Resigned
Leading VenuesJan -DecAnn00Discontinued
MeetingsJan -JunAltM95,5295,538-8.9%37.1%
The Meetings & Event Planner (former SA Conference Directory)Jan -DecAnn08,3598,3590.0%-2.7%
Analytical ReporterJan -JunAltM06,5546,5542.4%18.8%
Cold Link AfricaJan -JunAltM166,6786,694138.7%45.0%
Eastern Cape Business..Jul -JunAnn04,9424,942-48.5%-48.5%
Eastern Cape Industrial & Business NewsJan -JunAltM00Resigned
Free State Business,Jan -DecAnn09,9449,9440.0%0.0%
Gauteng Companies..Jul -JunAnn09,9439,9431.1%1.1%
Industrial BuyerJan -JunAltM157,8057,82027.9%11.3%
Jewellers' Network DirectoryJan -DecAnn03,3503,3500.0%
KwaZulu Natal Business..Jul -JunAnn09,9419,9411.8%1.8%
KZN Industrial & Business NewsJan -JunAltM00Resigned
Lighting in Design.Jan -DecQ04,2424,2420.0%39.1%
Limpopo Business.,Jan -DecAnn09,9339,9330.0%
LINKED by Jewellers NetworkJul -JunQ02,9262,926
Mpumalanga Business.,Jan -DecAnn09,9359,9350.0%
North West Business..Jul -JunAnn09,9449,9440.0%
Northern Cape Business..Jul -JunAnn04,9434,943-48.6%-48.6%
Opportunity (Exploring Business Prospects in SA)Jul -JunQ09,9269,926
Resource.Jul -JunQ9997,5928,59196.1%155.5%
SA Affordable HousingJan -JunAltM106,6516,66126.0%132.6%
Smart Energy InternationalJan -JunAltM02,8192,8193.9%
South African Business.Jan -Dec2xA014,92514,9250.0%-25.0%
South African Food ReviewApr -Jun11xA34,4134,416-15.8%4.4%
The Green Building HandbookJan -DecAnn00Resigned
The Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Handbook.Jul -JunAnn074,86274,862
Western Cape Business,Jan -DecAnn09,9239,9230.0%0.1%
Information and Computer Technology
BrainstormApr -Jun11xA3,8584,6068,464-4.5%-2.6%
The MarginJan -DecQ03,6963,6960.0%0.1%
African DecisionsJan -DecQ65610,45011,1060.0%-23.5%
Black Business QuarterlyJan -DecQ26341,10741,3700.0%327.4%
Blue Chip,Jul -JunQ09,3089,308
Business GuideJan -DecAnn00No Submission
FA News.Jan -JunAltM1562,7502,9061.5%
Impumelelo SA's Top Empowerment Co.Jan -DecAnn00No Submission
Infocom.Jan -DecQ00No Submission
KZN InvestJul -JunQ05,3465,3463.5%3.5%
Money MarketingApr -JunMtly58,7238,7280.5%137.6%
Profiles Stock Exchange HandbookJan -DecQ00Resigned
Salga Voice of Local GovernmentJan -DecQ00Resigned
South African Business IntergratorJan -Dec2xA50013,87314,3730.0%-27.7%
South Africa's Top Performing Companies,Jan -DecAnn00No Submission
The South African School CollectionJan -DecAnn00Discontinued
Top 500 SA's Best Companies,Jan -DecAnn00No Submission
Vision 2030Jan -DecAnn00No Submission
Mining & Quarrying
African Mines HandbookJan -DecAnn5801,0641,6440.0%-12.8%
African Mining BriefJan -JunAltM093693626.0%
African Mining Inc. Mining MirrorApr -Jun11xA13225,10925,24111.6%904.4%
EarthbrokerApr -JunMtly05,3825,3820.0%-0.3%
Engineering News & Mining WeeklyApr -JunWkly, Fr3,0116,3709,3815.3%
Inside MiningJul -Jun4xA06,1586,158
Mining DecisionsJan -Dec4xA00No Submission
Mining Review Africa.Apr -Jun11xA00Resigned
Modern MiningApr -JunMtly09,6659,6655.4%51.6%
Modern QuarryingJan -DecQ03,3383,3380.0%23.5%
The Greeff MagazineJan -Dec3xA00No Submission
DIY And Industrial Trade NewsApr -JunMtly07,4987,498-20.4%47.8%
Pharmacy Magazine (former Frontshop)Apr -JunMtly014,45314,45349.2%208.4%
SpotongJan -DecQ00No Submission
Supermarket and RetailerApr -JunMtly09,9099,9096.0%13.3%
Trader's Friend - Convenience Stores, FMCG Franchises and Chain Stores.Jan -Jun9xA00Rebranded
Trader's Friend - Independent Retailers and Wholesalers.Jan -Jun9xA00Rebranded
Transport and Logistics
Focus on Transport & LogisticsApr -JunMtly00Resigned
Freight News FeaturesApr -JunMtly3644,7485,112-3.0%31.1%
Trucks and Heavy Equipment News..Jan -Dec5xA00Resigned

Custom magazines

Despite being a large category, the pickings were slim in the Custom Magazines category with only seven publications showing positive increases on the previous quarter. Skyways continued to soar, following good performances in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021 with a 15.7% increase on the previous quarter. Clicks Club Card had a 9.1% increase, followed by Club X, Game & Hunt/Wild & Jag, Accountancy, Man and SA Pharmacist’s Assistant all showing gains under 10%.

Game& Hunt/Wild & Jag also increased on the prior year (8.5%). Taste also increased on the prior year (10.2%), but despite this and its gain in the Q1, it saw a decrease of 13.1% on the previous quarter.

The biggest losses were in the Farming section, with all three titles showing decreases. Dairy Mail, The with the biggest decrease of -25.4% followed by Rooi Vleis/Red Meat with -20.7% and Wolboer/Wool Farmer a -3.1%.

Family Interest
PublicationPeriodFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Crawford TimesJan -DecQ00Resigned
TrinitonianJan -DecQ00Resigned
Dairy Mail, The.Apr -JunMtly212,6182,639-25.4%-26.2%
Rooi Vleis / Red Meat,Jan -JunAltM09,0849,084-20.7%-20.7%
Wolboer / Wool Farmer.Jan -JunAltM24,7764,778-3.1%-3.0%
Health & Wellbeing
Fitlife.Apr -JunMtly23,5631,09824,661-7.6%-27.5%
Journal of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes SAJul -Jun3xA01,3421,342-9.3%-9.3%
SA Pharmaceutical Journal.Jan -Jun10xA35,6095,612-20.5%-22.0%
SA Pharmacist's Assistant (SAPA)Jul -JunQ05,0195,0191.2%1.2%
South African Medical JournalApr -JunMtly3299,0189,347-3.7%
Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia &AnalgesiaJan -JunAltM02,0922,092-1.6%-4.6%
Fresh LivingJan -DecQ31,382031,3820.0%
Living Space..Apr -JunMtly34,0941,33235,426-4.0%-30.8%
My Kitchen..Apr -JunMtly66,0481,24367,291-2.4%-27.4%
Industry Specific
Forum TydskrifJan -DecQ0149,624149,6240.0%1.8%
J S EJan -DecQ58812,28712,8750.0%-28.3%
Sea RescueJan -Dec3xA056,89556,8950.0%
ServamusApr -JunMtly9,326769,402-0.4%-9.7%
In Flight MagazineApr -JunMtly026,56826,568
SkywaysApr -JunMtly8169,521169,52915.7%
Equinox.Jan -DecQ00No Submission
Private EditionJan -DecQ09,2349,2340.0%
Taste.Apr -Jun11xA27,09270427,796-13.1%10.2%
ManApr -JunMtly37,8901,90439,7941.1%-32.0%
Tech..Apr -JunMtly31,21589832,113-8.2%-40.6%
Medical and Allied Health
Bounce (Formerly Bankmed)Jul -Jun3xA00Resigned
Medi - Clinic FamilyJul -JunQ00Resigned
Motor..Apr -JunMtly16,7441,58718,331-14.1%-45.3%
Accountancy SAApr -Jun11xA056,06456,0640.4%3.0%
De RebusApr -Jun11xA819,02319,031-0.5%2.8%
The Journal Of The SAIMMApr -JunMtly00Changed Sector
Clicks Club Card.Jan -JunAltM102250,275250,3779.1%
Club MagazineApr -JunMtly249,7166,000255,716-0.6%-24.9%
Jet ClubJan -Jun7xA0271,673271,673
Sport and Hobby
Game & Hunt/Wild & JagApr -JunMtly1,58557,33658,9210.1%8.5%
SA Hunter/Jagter.Jan -JunMtly35,158035,158-5.5%-8.2%
Soccer ClubApr -JunMtly42,6293,13645,765-2.7%-37.2%
Sports Club.Apr -JunMtly77,8681,85879,726-4.4%-35.0%
Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
AA TravellerJan -DecQ00No Submission
Best of Cape Town Central City.Jan -DecAnn00Terminated
EscapesApr -JunMtly19,84154420,385-9.0%-38.6%
Moments magazineJan -Dec6xA00Resigned
PremierApr -JunMtly013,29413,294
Woman's General
Balanced LifeApr -JunMtly45,4961,45446,950-3.0%-43.9%
ClubXApr -JunMtly64,1981,69765,8953.7%-27.2%
Kids Super Club.Apr -JunMtly63,6092,50066,109-0.1%-40.8%

Free magazines

The smallest category under Magazines had only one title show an increase over the previous quarter, with three titles having no increase or decrease. Get It (Jo'burg West) had a half a percent increase on the previous quarter. The losses, however, were slight for the rest of the category, ranging from -0.1% to -0.7%.

Of the four titles that submit data for the year, three had increases in the prior year. Get It (Bloemfontein), Get It (Jo'burg South), and Get It (Jo'burg West) all increased, with only Get It (Northern Suburbs Joburg) showing a decrease.

PublicationPeriodFrequencyTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Botswana Advertiser.Apr -JunWkly, Fr94,9650.0%
Get It (Ballito to Umhlanga)Apr -JunMtly9,9580.0%
Get It (Bloemfontein)Apr -JunMtly6,8900.0%37.8%
Get It (Highway)Apr -JunMtly9,843-0.1%
Get It (Jo'burg South)Apr -JunMtly14,575-0.5%16.8%
Get It (Jo'burg West)Apr -JunMtly14,7130.5%2.2%
Get It (Lowveld)Apr -JunMtly6,2000.0%
Get It (Northern Suburbs Joburg)Apr -JunMtly14,800-0.2%-40.7%
Get It (Pretoria)Apr -JunMtly14,466-0.7%

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is the finance and healthcare editor at She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits. Danette was editor and publisher of Advantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. Before her editorship, she was deputy-editor as well as freelancing for over a year on the publication before that. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B, in the fields of marketing, mining, disability marketing, advertising and media.

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