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.