Monday, February 08, 2010

Magazine Circulation Craters, Experts Baffled

I can't quite put my finger on a possible reason why except maybe their product is no longer worth the paper it's printed on. In the case of Time and Newsweek, they may want to serious consider pulling the plug considering their anemic numbers.
Magazines’ newsstand sales plummeted in the last six months of 2009, and subscriptions dropped as well.

Newsstand sales for the 472 consumer titles in the United States measured by the Audit Bureau of Circulations declined 9.1 percent, to 39.3 million, in the last half of 2009 versus the same period a year earlier, the organization reported this morning. That follows an 11.12 percent decline from July through December 2007 compared to July through December 2008.

Some of the well-known titles with dramatic single-copy declines included W, down 41.7 percent to about 25,000 for an average issue; Newsweek, down 41.3 percent to about 62,000 (Newsweek had decreased the number of copies on sale, noted a spokesman) ; SmartMoney, down 37 percent to about 26,000; Time, down 34.9 percent to about 90,000; Good Housekeeping, down 30.7 percent to 395,000; and Redbook, down 30.1 percent to 126,000.
As a commenter at the link notes, are we supposed to believe Newsweek's puny numbers are because they decreased the copies available? Or is it simply more likely they can't even give it away, hence the decline in sale copies.

I suspect the endless array of Obama covers may have something to do with it. Just as those cable outlets that slobber all over him have suffered badly in the ratings (CNN and MSNBC), people are so turned off by seeing his face every time they walk past a newsstand.

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