Magazine Circs Slip Again

The long-term decline in magazine circulations continued in the second half of 2014, according to the latest figures from the Alliance for Audited Media, previously known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Total circulation for the roughly 500 U.S. and Canadian titles tracked by AAM slipped 2.2%, from 321.8 million in the second half of 2013 to 314.6 million in the second half of 2014. 

That reflects a 1.3% drop in subscriptions over the same period, from 261.9 million to 258.4 million, and a 12.9% drop in newsstand sales, from 24.1 million to 21 million. Paid subscriptions fell 1.7% from 248.4 million to 244.3 million.

The declines were spread across most of the major categories. In women’s lifestyle and fashion mags, Cosmopolitan saw newsstand sales tumble 29.4% to 632,261, but this decline was offset by an 11.5% increase in paid subscriptions, to 2,251,600, contributing to overall circulation growth of 1.7%, to 3,066,070.



Similarly, Elle’s newsstand sales fell 18.6% to 143,210, but paid subs rose 5.4% to 937,895, for a total circ gain of 1.4%, to 1,125,536. Glamour’s single-copy sales were down 36.4% to 185,746, but its total circ remained flat at just over 2.3 million.

Among celebrity titles, People’s newsstand sales tumbled 14% to 718,630, but paid subscriptions increased 5.2% to 2,573,955, keeping total circ flat at just over 3.5 million. Entertainment Weekly’s paid subscriptions sank 4.2% to 1,619,091, canceling out a 4.1% increase in newsstand sales to produce a 1.3% drop in total circ, to 1,749,744.

Us Weekly’s newsstand sales were down 17.4% to 379.722, with total circ slipping 0.6% to 1,952,501. In Style’s total circ fell 3%, due mostly to a 26.4% drop in newsstand sales, to 346,251. Life & Style Weekly’s total circ was down 11% to 232,083, due to an 11.5% drop in newsstand sales, to 223,169.

In the domestic category, Family Circle’s newsstand sales fell 25.5% to 418,120, canceling out a 2.2% increase in paid subscriptions for an overall circ decline of 1.3%, to 4,037,592. Meanwhile, Good Housekeeping’s newsstand sales tumbled 17.2% to 235,040, while paid subs slipped 2.9% to 3,899,481. Martha Stewart Living’s total circ slipped 1.9% to 2,067,346, as single-copy sales fell 12.4% to 159,895.

Even titles based on popular TV brands, generally a fast-growing category, aren’t entirely immune to the trend. Food Network Magazine’s single copy sales were down 18.7% to 411,650, canceling out a 6.3% increase in paid subs to end up with a 1% decline in total circ, to 1,708,387.

On the other hand, HGTV Magazine’s total circ rose 8% to 1,353,974, as a 13.6% increase in paid subs more than offset a 5.8% drop in newsstand sales.

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