Posted on | August 11, 2010 | No Comments
Some big titles took it on the chin, to be sure: Playboy (-34%), Reader’s Digest (-25%). Neither of those tumbles is a head-scratcher.
But overall, circulation (paid and verified) is 313 million. That’s a lotta eyeballs.
What’s more, the ABC is improving how it quantifies digital versions of magazines.
The old standards have always required that in order to be considered as part of a periodicalâ€™s circ, the e-paper version must include an exact replica of a print editionâ€™s full editorial content and advertising.Â The change is that an e-paper edition no longer needs to be presented in a layout identical to the print version. Replica digital editions will continue to be included in a magazineâ€™s circulation guarantee, or rate base.
One possible lesson in the latest ABC numbers: Total paid subs were down 1.96 %, but total single-copy sales fell 5.6 %. If you assume that subscribers are pre-disposed to re-sign when the time comes, this Â newsstand trend suggests that magazine covers — whether that’s subject matter, cover design or overall theme — aren’t cutting the mustard for readers.
Build a good issue, and they’ll read. It’s a much more competitive landscape today, and editors need to step it up. But go easy on the sizzle. Readers respond to well-told, well-packaged stories, not flash.