Consumer Magazines Take Huge Hit at Newsstand
The winners and losers of the ABC Fas-Fax first half analysis.
The consumer magazine industry, as expected, took some huge hits at the newsstand and in overall circulation during the first half of the year, according the much-anticipated Fas-Fax report, released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations this morning.
Among the biggest decliners in total paid and verified circulation: Bauerâs Life & Style and In Touch, down 30 percent and 27.7 percent in overall paid circulation and 30.2 percent and 28.7 percent in single copy sales, respectively.
Readerâs Digestâs single copy sales (-11.9 percent), subscriptions (-16.1 percent) and total paid (-15.9 percent) all fell double digits.
Newsweekâs single copy sales fell 17.3 percent and subscriptions 12.6 percent, leading the magazineâs overall paid and verified circulation to slide 12.8 percent to 2.73 million, down from 3.14 million during the first half of 2007. U.S. News & World Reportâs total paid and verified circulation fell 10 percent.
American Media Inc.âs National Enquirer saw subscription (-13.7 percent), single copy sales (-8.4 percent) and total paid and verified circ (-10.1) losses, while AMIâs Star didnât fare much better (down 15.4 percent in subscriptions, 3.4 percent in single copy sales and 9.4 percent overall).
Vogueâs single copy sales fell 14.8 percent and 6 percent overall during the first half, while Playboyâs single copy sales (-23.5 percent) and total paid (-6.2) saw equally pronounced declines.
A slew of titles managed to hold or even gain circulation while enduring the hit at the racks. TV Guide, for instance, saw its single copy sales plummet some 29 percent through June, but increased subscriptions by 2.4 percent and overall circulation by 0.3 percent.
Menâs Vogueâs single by sales plummeted nearly 40 percent, but the magazine increased overall circulation by 20 percent thanks to a 43.6 percent uptick in subscriptions.
Time magazineâs single copy sales fell 7 percent, but its overall paid circulation (-0.3 percent) was left virtually untouched. Us Weeklyâs single copy sales fell 10.4 percent, but its total paid circulation (0.2 percent) was flat.
Martha Stewart Living fell 11.6 percent in single copy sales, but managed to increase overall circ by 1.6 percent, according to ABC. (Martha Stewart Weddings, though, slipped 7.5 percent in single copy sales and 7.5 percent overall.) The Advocateâs single copy sales fell 22 percent but the titleâs total paid and verified circ increased 4.7 percent. Cookieâs single copy sales fell 19 percent, but a huge boost in subscriptions (43.1 percent) led to an overall circ gain. Entrepreneur, recently pulled off the block by its CEO, saw single copy sales fall 11 percent, but its overall circulation decreased just over half a percent.
Maximâs single copy sales fell 11.7 percent, but its overall paid and verified circulation slid just 1.3 percent. Likewise, single copy sales for Rolling Stone slipped 6.6 percent during the first half, but overall paid circ (0.6 percent) actually increased.
But the hedging works both ways. Vanity Fair increased its single copy sales 6 percent but saw paid and verified circulation drop a percentage point, thanks to a 4 percent dip in subscriptions. Sports Illustrated saw a 19.1 percent spike in single copy sales, but its overall paid circ (0.3 percent) remained essentially flat. Texas Monthly did well at the newsstand (up 16 percent) but increased its overall paid circ by just 1.3 percent. And Dennis Publishingâs The Week increased single copy sales by a whopping 62 percentâwith an average of 1,820 copies per issueâbut just 1.7 percent overall.
Despite a fascinating Democratic primary season, The Nationâs subscriptions (-2.6 percent), single copy sales (-15.4 percent) and total paid and verified circ (-2.8) all fell during the first half of the year.
OK!âs Great First Half
It wasnât a âBlack Mondayâ for some publishers, however. OK! magazineâs single copy sales increased 19.4 percent during the first halfâfar and away the best performing celebrity title at the newsstandâand its total paid and verified circ 11.8 percent.
The Atlantic continued its pursuit of profitability by increasing subscriptions 12.9 percent and total paid circ some 11.6 percent. And Wired increased its single copy sales (13.1 percent) and subscriptions (5.1 percent) for a 6.1 percent increase in total paid and verified circulation.
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