Monday, August 9, 2010

Plunging Periodical Newstand Sales

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First-half 2010 newsstand sales figures for magazines improved over 2009 results, but that's not saying much.

According to, citing Magazine Information Network(MagNet) data, first-half newstand sales declined 7.7 percent to more than 451 million units, compared to a 12.4 percent decline in 2009. MagNet, which consolidates magazine wholesaler information, said news, auto and entertainment titles were hardest-hit, while sales of food and sports periodicals actually increased.

Newstand sales account for roughly 13 percent of all magazine circulation. Observers are not optimistic about third-quarter sales results. Changing consumer behavior, the recession, and a spike in the price of magazines, which has climbed since 2008 from an average $4.11 to $4.60, are blamed for the disappointing first-half results.

Meanwhile, the Audit Bureau of Circulations said the average circulation of 440 magazine titles declined 2.3 percent in the first half of 2010 compared to the comparable period in 2009. Playboy and Reader's Digest were the biggest circulation losers, according to accounts in and

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