Magazine newsstand sales collapse...

Magazine newsstand sales: Read it and weep
By Keith J. KellyAugust 8, 2014 | 6:48am

The first-half circulation numbers do not tell a pretty story for the magazine industry. Even digital-replica editions — which grew at a double-digit pace — did not rise quite as rapidly as a year ago.

Not surprisingly, the biggest digital replica magazine is Game Informer magazine, with 2,894,248 replica copies.

The next three with ad-sponsored replica copies belong to American Media titles: Shape with 296,157; Star magazine with 237,333; and OK! Weekly with 196,248.

Working Mother had 194,167, and Maxim, which changed ownership in the period, was not far behind with 186,863, while its single-copy sales plunged 33 percent.

Overall, digital replica editions — defined as exact copies of the print edition — grew 13 percent to 11.6 million copies, representing 3.8 percent of the total circulation.

The numbers were part of the bi-annual snapshot released Thursday by the Alliance for Audited Media, which reported total circulation was down 1. 9 percent.

The more profitable circulation generator, single-copy sales, dropped 11.9 percent in the first six months. The market was thrown into chaos with the late May announcement from Source Interlink that it was shutting down.

But since that only had an impact on the issues hitting newsstands in June, it suggests a very tough first half was already under way.

Celebrity magazines, which come out weekly, showed some of the biggest overall declines.
David Pecker, CEO of American Media, which relies heavily on newsstand sales, said TNG, owned by Canada’s New Group and Hudson News, have absorbed most of the routes serviced by Source Interlink.

“They have been working aggressively, around the clock, on behalf of the industry and have made great progress towards a full recovery, which I could see occurring before the end of October,” Pecker said.

There were only a few bright spots on the single-copy front. Only four of the 25 top-selling newsstand titles posted gains in the first half.

Time Inc.’s All You, which went from being sold only in Walmart to being available in a wide number of retail outlets, posted an 11.5 percent jump in single-copy sales to 356,872.

Rodale had two stars on the single copy front: Women’s Health showed a healthy 3.3 percent gain in single-copy sales to 310,768, as did Prevention, which was up 12.6 percent to 249,111.

HGTV Magazine from Hearst also had strong numbers, growing 7.4 percent on newsstands to 316,126..

Bauer still has the two largest magazines in terms of newsstand sales, No. 1 Woman’s World, which was down 16 percent to 934,205, and First for Women, which was down 13.9 percent to 865.665.

Cosmopolitan, Hearst’s newsstand powerhouse, tumbled 24.8 percent on newsstands to 774,077 from over 1 million in the same period a year earlier. It needed to send 147,068 free or verified copies into the marketplace to make its rate base.

People, now at No. 4 in newsstand sales, lost 14.8 percent of its single-copy sales to 706,344.

Us Weekly, the No. 6 title in single-copy sales, was down 14. 9 percent to 405,938, dropping below the average issue sales of No. 5 Family Circle, which fell 5.1 percent to 424,459 in single-copy sales.


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