The latest over the counter sales results of magazines in the US are not good for magazine publishers. Once you separate digital and subscription circulation out, you can see that what they call single copy sales are in deep decline for many titles.
Digital circulation more than doubled. It’s the weekly gossip and entertainment titles that suffered steep declines in retail sales:
Some of the weakest numbers in the second half of 2012 belonged to celebrity weeklies.Life & Style saw its total circulation drop 18.4 percent, OK! Weekly fell 14.4 percent, and In Touch fell 14.3 percent. Star and Us Weekly did slightly better, with circulations declining 4.9 and 2.2 percent, respectively. And People, the category leader and typically its strongest, was the only magazine in the category to see its circulation rise, by nearly 2 percent, despite a 12.2 percent decline in newsstand sales.
I don’t know enough about People but maybe it’s focus is similar to Famous which performs against trend here in Australia.
So, more bad news about magazines. We can allow ourselves to get caught up in this and do our help the decline – by being average – or we can push against it by being engaged magazine specialists. The latter approach works. We do this by being smart about layout, embracing change and being obsessive about titles that perform well in our stores.
Newsagents remain the largest magazine retail channel in Australia. Our market share is something we can leverage better.