The downward trend in newsstand sales is continuing -- and may even be gathering speed, judging by the latest figures from MagNet, which tracks single copy sales at retail for U.S. magazine publishers.
The total number of print magazines sold via newsstands and other retail channels fell 10.3% from 128.8 million in the third quarter of 2014 to 115.5 million in the third quarter of 2015, MagNet found, while the total dollar value of these sales fell 9.8% from $697 million to $628.9 million.
Among the nation’s top publishers, Time Inc.’s total unit sales fell 13.1% to 17.3 million, while dollar sales were down 11.3% to $113.3 million; Bauer’s unit sales were down 3.2% to 25.6 million as dollar sales slipped 2.7% to $68.4 million; American Media’s unit sales were down 13.2% to 12.3 million while dollar sales decreased 13.1% to $62.6 million.
Hearst’s unit sales plunged 21.9% to 6.7 million, with dollars down 20.3% to $30.1 million, and Meredith’s unit sales fell 16.1% to 4.3 million, as dollar sales declined 15.2% to $27.2 million.
The overall draw, referring to the number of magazines distributed to retailers, fell 1.8% from 430.2 million to 422.5 million, while the proportion of these actually sold fell from 31% to 27.4%.
The third-quarter figures come on top of a weak performance in the first half of the year, according to MagNet, when the total volume of magazines distributed by wholesalers slipped 2.6% to 784 million.
The volume of issues sold fell even more, with an 18.5% drop from 254.5 million issues to 207.5 million over the same period, and the dollar value of these sales fell 13.9% from $1.29 billion to $1.11 billion.
From 2013-2014, total newsstand sales plunged 16.7% to 517.5 million units, but MagNet noted that much of this was due to the closing of wholesale distributor Source Interlink Distribution in May 2014.