Newsstand sales of consumer magazines continued to decline in the beginning of 2016, according to the latest figures from MagNet, which tracks single-copy sales across the U.S. and Canada.
The number of magazines distributed by wholesalers also dropped compared to last year.
The total number of magazines distributed by wholesalers in the U.S. fell from 369.1 million in the first quarter of 2015 to 334.8 million in the first quarter of 2016, for a 9.3% decline over this period.
The number of magazines actually sold fell 10.1% from 98 million to 88.1 million, meaning that the proportion sold slipped from 26.6% to 26.3%.
Newsstand sales in dollar volume fell from $509.8 million to $481.5 million, for a roughly 5.6% drop. In the same report, MagNet saw a 7.5% drop in Canadian newsstand sales over this period, from 14.6 million copies to 13.5 million.
Out of 20 categories tracked by MagNet altogether, 14 saw total newsstand sales decrease over this period.
Turning to specific categories, some of the biggest drops in newsstand sales hit business and finance, down 27.9% to one million copies sold; health and fitness, down 19.9% to four million copies sold; home and garden, down 15.7% to 5.1 million copies sold; and celebrity, down 13.7% to 26.6 million copies sold.
MagNet noted that the proportional declines in overall newsstand sales in terms of magazines and dollar volumes are actually smaller than in previous quarters, providing something of a silver lining to the latest figures.
However, any optimism will be tempered by the fact that the latest round of declines comes on top of eight consecutive quarters of year-over-year losses in 2014-2015.
The publishing business is lost. Consumers want access to content on their own terms. Yet publishers are still charging way too much for their content. Consider what it costs to publish a magazine for a yeart. Consider what it costs to produce a mainstream movie. Consumers for$10.00 a month get access to hundreds of movies from multiple movies studios. Yet publishers still have an old subsciption model of just one publication that costs not much less, at retail, than the smorgasboard of media from alternatives like Netflix, Hulu Amazon etc.
Publishers absolutely need the equivalent if they are going to survive: A Pay one price for all you can read content from a slew of publications.
Better to get nickels and dimes from millions than a few bucks from thousands, And the adverstisers will like you better too.
There are apps that do that - and they work pretty well. It's a good concept that people respond to these days.