Newsstand sales slide another 8.3 percent
But digital circulation surges during the second half of 2012
February 8, 2013
Magazines’ single-copy sales continued their slide during the second half of 2012.
Newsstand sales fell 8.2 percent during the six-month period ended Dec. 31, according to data from the Alliance for Audited Media, formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
That was slightly less than the 9.6 percent slide seen during the first half of 2012. It was also less than the 9.96 percent decline during the second half of 2011.
Total paid and verified circulation for the 402 U.S. publications measured by the AAM fell by 0.3 percent.
That included a 0.7 percent increase for magazine subscriptions, which rose 1.1 percent during the first half of last year.
There is nothing new about the decline in single-copy sales. It’s been going on for years, and it’s a concern for the magazine industry, which has also seen a long and steady ad page decline.
There are many factors at play in the newsstand slide. For one thing, the economic uncertainty in the United States over the past four years has led people to make fewer impulse buys, which includes things like magazines at the grocery checkout.
But other factors are at play as well, such as disagreements between publishers and distributors and a consolidation in the number of distributors.
The closure of Borders and other struggling bookstores has led to a decrease in the number of newsstands where magazines are available.
Meanwhile, electronic readership is on the rise. More than a quarter of Americans now own e-readers and tablets, and they’re increasingly using these devices to read magazines.
For the second time, AAM reported standalone digital replica editions, copies that feature all editorial and advertising content of the print magazine.
Up till 2012 these editions had been included in the topline paid and verified circulation number.
Digital magazine sales more than doubled compared with the second half of 2011, with 289 magazines reporting more than 7.9 million digital replica editions. That accounted for 2.4 percent of the total industry average circulation.
Nearly 65 percent of magazines that filed this period had digital replica editions as part of total circulation.
That compares to 245 magazines with 3.2 million average digital replica copies (less than 1 percent of the total industry average circulation) in 2011 at the same time.
Tags: aam, alliance of audited media, audit bureau of circulations, circulation, decline, magazine circulation, magazine newsstand sales, magazines, newsstand sales, newsstands, print, readership, single copy sales, tablets, time
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