Mag Bag: Magazine Circs Drop Again

Magazine Circs Drop Again

The total circulation of U.S. consumer magazines declined 1.7% from 323.8 million in the second half of 2012 to 318.7 million in the second half of 2013, including both print and digital replica editions.
The drop was mostly due to substantial decreases in newsstand sales, which fell 11% from 25.4 million to 22.6 million, while paid subscriptions slipped 1% from 264.9 million to 262.8 million, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations. These drops were partially offset by growth in digital circulation, which soared 37% to a total of 10.6 million digital copies. But that remains a relatively small part of consumer magazines’ total circulation base, representing just 3.4% of the overall circ.
Responding to the AAM data, Mary Berner, the president and CEO of MPA-The Association of Magazine Media, noted that there was some positive news: “Over a third of measured titles saw increases in circulation. Half posted increases in subscriptions, with 37% growth for digital magazine editions over the second half of 2012.” However, she also noted that circ data provides an incomplete picture at best, as it doesn’t include various digital channels (beyond replica editions) or pass-along readership.
In terms of categories, some of the biggest circ declines were seen in celebrity titles, which typically rely on newsstand sales more most of their rate base. In Touch Weekly saw total paid and verified circ fall 12.5% to 497,472, as single-copy sales dipped 7.3% to 467,125; Life & Style Weekly fell 17.7% to 260,709, with single copy also down 17.7% to 252,256; People slipped 3% to 3,527,541, as single-copy sales dropped 14% to 835,788; People StyleWatch slid 8% to 830,465, with single-copy sales down 23.6% to 347,651; and Us Weekly saw single-copy sales fall 12.9% to 459,955 (no paid and verified comparison was available).
Other titles experiencing declines included Maxim, with total paid and verified down 20.5% to 2,021,276 and newsstand down 21.6% to 126,581; Money, where total paid and verified fell 10.1% to 1,728,983, despite a 5.7% increase in single-copy sales, to 55,176; and Martha Stewart Weddings, with total paid and verified down 9.9% to 176,812, as newsstand fell 27.3% to 116,039.
Meredith Tops comScore’s Lifestyle and Food Categories
Meredith Corp.’s digital properties dominated the lifestyle and food categories for comScore’s December 2013 multiplatform report. In the lifestyle category, Meredith Digital reported 57 million unique visitors, beating out Condé Nast Digital by 5 million. Meanwhile Allrecipes ranked No. 1 in the food category with 37.8 million unique visitors, 4.7 million ahead of second-ranked Food Network.
MPA Moves HQ
MPA—The Association for Magazine Media is moving to new digs. Effective February 24, the magazine industry organization will make its home at 757 Third Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10017.  
Time Inc. Names Ford EVP of Ad Sales
It’s been a busy week at Time Inc., with hundreds of layoffs, a new, simplified structure, and more changes at the executive level. The new appointments include Mark Ford, who has been named executive vice president for advertising sales at Time Inc. In this role, Ford will oversee Time Inc. Branded Solutions; Time Inc. Content Solutions, which creates custom publishing platforms; and MNI Targeted Media, which creates multiplatform, targeted advertising programs. Ford previously served as EVP and president of Time Inc.’s Sports Group.
Buehler To Rodale SVP Digital Ops and Strategy
Beth Buehler has been named senior vice president of digital operations and strategy at Rodale, a new position for the health and fitness publisher. Buehler previously served as head of digital ventures at Getty Images. Her past experience also includes roles at Dow Jones, where she served as general manager of MarketWatch as well as head of business management.  
Bross Tapped As Senior Director of Communications, The Atlantic
Anna Bross has been named senior director of communications for The Atlantic, including the magazine as well as its Web sites, and its AtlanticLIVE Events division, effective February 20. Bross previously served as director of media relations for NPR.

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