Driven by environmental concerns and the high cost of international distribution, publishers are claiming digital circulation is on the rise.

The number of publishers claiming qualified electronic editions—i.e. digital copies—on their most recent BPA circulation statements increased 28 percent, according to the company. There were 286 in June, up from 224 in December. (The jump, in part, can be attributed to a rule amendment requiring just a single pre-audit per publisher, BPA CEO Glenn Hansen said.)

Cimarron Buser, SVP, marketing and business development at Texterity, added that “the increased use of laptops in a paperless world” has also helped spur on the increase of digital.

Despite the increase, digital still accounts for a small percentage of the overall circulation mix. On average, electronic editions made up 13 percent of total circulation for all BPA members. In fact, of the top 20 magazines in terms of digital circulation tracked by BPA, just one—Renewable Energy Focus—claims a majority of its circulation digital-only.

Oracle claimed a digital distribution of 146,545—a 19 percent increase—during the first half of the year, topping all BPA titles in digital circulation. Electronic editions now comprise almost 30 percent of Oracle’s total subscriber base.

BPA’s Top 20 Titles in Digital Circ | First Half 2008

  TOTAL CIRC DIGITAL-ONLY % OF TOTAL
ORACLE 504,364 146,545 29.06%
EWEEK 400,100 65,000 16.25%
COMPUTER WEEKLY 133,629 61,522 46.04%
NASA TECH BRIEFS 190,678 52,321 27.44%
REDMOND 120,154 39,954 33.25%
DR. DOBB’S JOURNAL 120,000 33,065 27.55%
ESCHOOL NEWS 80,831 32,846 40.64%
COMPUTING 99,870 29,521 29.56%
DESIGN NEWS 170,089 22,167 13.03%
LASER FOCUS WORLD 71,000 21,432 30.19%
ELECTRONICS WEEKLY 40,778 20,029 49.12%
EDN 125,015 19,728 15.78%
SD TIMES 60,448 19,176 31.72%
LABORATORY EQUIPMENT 80,546 17,446 21.66%
CADALYST 62,019 17,266 27.84%
RENEWABLE ENERGY FOCUS 27,000 17,000 62.96%
ECN 122,050 16,279 13.34%
FOREIGN POLICY 103,388 15,964 15.44%
INDUSTRY WEEK 126,576 15,946 12.60%
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT 72,549 15,635 21.55%

SOURCE: BPA