Sunday, March 2, 2014
Magazine sales continue to slide; Format’s future in doubt
Magazines seem destined to go from a mass market to a niche media in the years to come.
Last month, the Alliance for Audited Media released its U.S. consumer magazine circulation data for the second half of 2013. Overall circulation declined 1.7% from a year earlier, with newsstand sales dropping 11%. Celebrity weeklies and fashion magazines were the biggest decliners, Adweek and the Wall Street Journal reported.
Digital editions rose sharply, up nearly 37%, but make up just 3.5% of total magazine circulation.
Time Warner has delayed the initial public offering and spinoff of its Time Inc. division because of the decline in its magazine business, the New York Post reported.
The prospects for print magazines are “generally gloomy,” Peter Osnos wrote in the Atlantic in December for an article titled “Can Print Magazines Save Themselves?”
But “Mr. Magazine” Samir Husni is upbeat about the prospects for the industry.
In December, Husni wrote that new magazine launches were down only slightly in 2013, but their survival rate was way up.
Last month, Husni spotlighted 14 magazines launched since the dot-com era peaked in 2000. He said they showed the resilience of paper magazines.
Also in February, Husni wrote that magazine publishers are realizing that they can’t go all-digital. Magazines without print are “like Kojak without his sucker,” he said.
Photo: Cover of new magazine Editorialist featuring model Nina Agdal.