The Audit Bureau of Circulation’s semi-annual Fas-Fax report for U.S. consumer magazines shows what many in this sector of the magazine industry were expecting—a decrease in total circulation and newsstand sales.
For the first time, the report breaks out figures for standalone digital replicas, which now account for 1.7 percent of total circulation. There are 258 U.S. magazines reporting more than 5.4 million digital replica editions, which more than doubled from 2 million in the first half of 2011.
Of the top 25 U.S. consumer magazines, 14 saw a decrease in paid verified circulation, with Hearst’s Woman’s Day losing the most in that category by 10.7 percent. The biggest gainer was Game Stop’s Game Informer magazine, increasing its total paid and verified circulation by 37.2 percent to more than 8.1 million.
Condé Nast’s Glamour saw a 3.0 percent increase in its total paid and verified circulation, and Meredith’s Family Circle saw an increase of 7.4 percent—the only other publications other than Game Informer to see an increase above 0.9 percent.
The newsstand is suffering for consumer magazines across the board—21 of the top 25 publications saw a decrease in the number of single copy sales. The biggest losers included Weight Watchers (27.5 percent), Vanity Fair (18.8 percent), People (18.6 percent), O, The Oprah Magazine (17.9 percent), Vogue (16.5 percent) and Cosmopolitan (15.5 percent).
Only four of the top 25 publications saw an increase in newsstand sales—Food Network Magazine (17.8 percent), Family Circle (8.0 percent), Woman’s Day (6.2 percent) and Life and Style Weekly (2.5 percent).
Game Informer did see a decrease in the number of newsstand sales (17.9 percent), but leads the pack not only in total paid and verified circulation, but in digital replica circulation as well: it is the largest magazine in this space, with a total circulation of more than 1.2 million.
Of the top 25, Maxim has the second highest digital replica circulation with over 284,000; Cosmopolitan has over 185,000; Poder Hispanic comes in fourth with over 170,000 and National Geographic rounds out the top five with over 134,000.