People Cuts Cover Price to Boost Single-Copy Sales
The Time Inc. title aims to boost flagging newsstand numbers with a $1 discount.
What do you do when newsstand sales are down by nearly 12%? Well, in People magazine’s case, you lower the cover price by a buck. Time Inc.’s newsstand giant confirmed today that it’s reducing its cover price on newsstands nationwide from $5.99 to $4.99 at grocery stores and other general newsstands and from $6.99 to $5.99 at airports, train and bus stations.
A company spokesperson declined to comment on where newsstand sales fit in with the brand’s overall revenue breakdown, but according to the New York Post, the magazine sold less than 550k copies — per AAM’s audit — in the first half of this year, which is an all-time low. While there is not an exact figure, the 11.8% year-over-year decline in sales certainly accounts for a six-figure loss in revenue. However, the silver lining is that the brand’s subscriber base has remained static. When asked about price adjustments for subscribers, no comment was offered.
So what impact will a marginal newsstand price reduction have? That remains unclear, but the spokesperson maintains the brand is nimble and responsive to changing conditions (and is likely keeping fingers crossed for more unexpected A-list news to dominate the news cycle).
“People is a multiplatform media brand that reaches a monthly audience of 80+ million,” the spokesperson says. “For example, People is covering the Brad and Angelina divorce news with nonstop 24/7 stories across our platforms—including the People/Entertainment Weekly Network and our Snapchat Discover channel.
In addition, People will “publish next week’s issue (October 10) featuring the Brad and Angelina cover story early so it can hit newsstands this week.” As CNN Money reported, People missed out on including the news in its current issue because the issue was already at the printer.