Many titles' newsstand sales got hammered in the first half of this year, based on publishers' reports in the lead-up to a big semi-annual report from the ABC.
sales represent just a sliver of most magazines' circulation income, those newsstand copies often entice readers to subscribe using the blow-in cards. Such subscribers are more likely to pay and
renew than subscribers from other sources. What's more, advertisers sometimes view newsstand sales as a measure of vitality.
Reader's Digest saw newsstand sales sink 20% from the first half of 2008. Newsstand sales fell 15% at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where declines reached 23% at Everyday Food and 20% at flagship Martha Stewart Living. "The entire magazine category reported weakness in single-copy sales in the first half. Of the competitive set of titles that we compare ourselves to, the average unit sale decline was 19%," says an MSLO rep. At American Media, newsstand sales fell 13%, with declines of 25% at Muscle & Fitness, 22% at Natural Health.