For the last five years publishers have been digging ever deeper in the newsstand coal mine, seemingly blind to the dangers that lie below. The canary hasnâ€™t croaked, but itâ€™s clearly breathing harder.
Publishers, naively waiting for good news from the top of the mineshaft, keep bemoaning the reasons for this calamitous bit of bad sales luck.
The recent newsstand sales figures for the second half of last year from AAM were indeed grim. It has been reported that the decline in unit sales was 8.2 percent from the year previous. But a more measured review, one that includes the sales of titles that reported sales a year ago but are no longer being p More...
To paraphrase Senator John McCainâ€”letâ€™s have some straight talk. The newsstand as we know it is nearing endangered species status. How much further do newsstand sales have to decline before publishers take corrective action? Â Itâ€™s well known that newsstand sales are in the dumper, but the depth of the audited publication sales slide in the first half of this year is even greater than has recently been reported by the media. A 9.6 percent sales decline (reported by the media) is huge, but the extent of the actual slide is more than 20 percent greater.The reason for the difference is that the numbers reported by the media only represent the sales status of titles that were audited in both the fir More...
The speed of the newsstand sales slide is intensifying. And that's very scary. In the first half of 2011 the unit sales of audited consumer magazines fell 10.7 percent to 329.7 million and retail revenue declined 10.6 percent to $1.272.0 million. Since 2001 unit sales have declined 47 percent and retail revenue has fallen 30 percent.
The decline is breath taking, but by now it's certainly not news. The newsstand channel is seriously troubled, but even in its darkest hour there's opportunity for publishers that are not faint of heart. There will be rewards for publishers that can read the tea leaves, properly interpret the trends and act decisively. Let's look at some recent developments as a means of achieving future insight.
Contrary to popular belief the sky is not falling on the consumer magazines business. It might not be all peaches and cream, but industry performance markers have fallen into a symmetrical pattern that describes a permanently smaller industry, one that is now properly sized and prepared to meet the competitive media challenges of a new era.Market Bellwethers ConvergeÂ A strange thing happened to the consumer magazine busidness near the end of 2009. The three major market bellwether performance indicators (circulation levels, newsstand sales, advertising sales), which had been sending mixed signals in recent years, simultaneously aligned.Â Circulation Levels: In the year 2000 the circulation of a More...
Many titles are sold on the newsstand, but itâ€™s the performance of 10 publicationsâ€”the top 10 checkout titlesâ€”that define the market.
Eight years ago, the top 10 titles accounted for nearly half (46.8
percent) of the unit sales of all audited publications. In the second
half of 2008 the top 10 titles still accounted for about half (46.3
percent) of unit sales for all audited publications.
The unit sales impact of the top 10 titles has remained stable, yet
the makeup, frequency and cover pricing of these publications has
A comparison of top the 10 titles from the second half of 2000 to
the second half of 2008 helps illuminate the effect of these changes.
Several distinct developments should More...
In the last week the fragile newsstand distribution system has essentially broken down. Two of the four major wholesalers have, in effect, exited the business. Publishers and the remaining wholesalers are scrambling to pick up the scattered pieces. If this wasnâ€™t enough, the recently-released second-half 2008 ABC and BPA newsstand sales data revealed (based on a preliminary analysis) that the unit sales of audited publications fell a devastating 14.9 percent and the revenue declined a record 6.7 percent. Â The story behind the dysfunctional newsstand distribution business is so convoluted that it makes Tim Geithnerâ€™s s More...
Thank goodness for the Anderson family. Their Anderson News Company can be counted on for keeping the fascinating newsstand fable alive with their periodic threats of Armageddon. What would the industry do without them?
Well, the magazine industry might soon have to face that realityâ€”and itâ€™s an unpleasant one.
Truth be known, many of Andersonâ€™s wounds are self-inflicted. In the 1990s, the Andersons saw the dramatic changes occurring in the magazine distribution landscape as an opportunity to greatly expand their successful regional wholesaling operations. They were banking on synergies of scale and a core belief in t More...
RELATED: Newsweek Mulls Dramatic Drop in Circulation
As we all know by now U.S. magazine circulation has been greatly expanded over the last 20 years to meet rising advertising opportunities. This growth has been achieved largely by acquiring a much greater percentage of "non-renewable circ" than publishers had previously employed.Â The expansion of "non-renewable circ" combined with reduced reader demand (read: Internet) has lowered circulation profitability and reduced "reader quality" for nearly all U.S. magazines.Â However, the effect More...
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