Magazine circulation still falling according to AAM

But digital initiatives are starting to show results

Circulation for Canada’s largest magazines continued to fall in the first half of the year according to the latest six-month data from Alliance for Audited Media (AAM). However, digital initiatives are proving to have a positive effect on a number of magazine brands.

Total paid and verified circulation for the 56 titles reporting comparable data declined 4.8% for the six months ended June 30, while paid subscriptions fell 10.1%. One bright spot for the industry was single-copy sales, which were up 3% over the same period last year.

Neal Lulofs, executive vice-president of marketing and strategy for the AAM in Chicago, said that the March closure of wholesaler and distributor Benjamin News might have impacted six-month averages for some single-copy sales.

Approximately 86% of AAM’s Canadian magazines – 48 titles in all – reported having digital replica editions for the period. Circulation for these editions totaled 255,764, accounting for approximately 3% of total paid, verified and analyzed non-paid circulation.

According to AAM, digital editions during the six-month period nearly tripled from the 72,587 average copies reported in the June 2013 period.

Next Issue

The digital magazine service Next Issue is helping lessen the impact of dwindling print readership for Rogers Communications (which owns Marketing and MarketingMag.ca).

Louise Leger, communications manager for Rogers Media’s publishing division, said that Next Issue contributed to a 30% year-over-over increase in the company’s single copy sales in the first six months of 2014, far exceeding the industry average of 3%.

Each download of a magazine title on the digital subscription service counts towards its single-copy sales number, producing massive jumps in single-copy sales for several Rogers titles including Sportsnet Magazine (360%), Today’s Parent (185.6%), Flare (101.7%) and Moneysense (94.5%).

Digital now accounts for approximately 9% of Rogers’ overall circulation – up from 1% last year – with Next Issue comprising approximately 85% of digital circulation and 7% of total circulation.

Trouble at the top

Twenty-one of the country’s top 25 magazines saw overall circulation declines, though none more precipitous than Reader’s Digest, which fell 28.6% to 326,968. The country’s largest magazine as recently as 2012, Reader’s Digest now ranks third behind longtime women’s title rivals Chatelaine (534,294) and Canadian Living (497,641).

Reader’s Digest also lost more than half of its single-copy sales, which fell 55.2% from 41,393 to 18,535. Several other titles saw double-digit declines in single-copy sales, including Canadian Business (17.2%), TC Media’s Canadian Living (13.9%) and the independent Canadian House & Home (15.3%).

Media Articles

Mona Networks takes mixed-use retail development mobile

New mobile network connects property management, office workers and retailers

Postmedia names Sid Lee agency of record

Win follows successful "Postmedia Reimagined" campaign

Corus Entertainment revenue up, adjusted earnings flat

Tough national advertising market adds pressure to revenue growth

Shaw profit beats estimates, but revenue doesn’t

Despite solid earnings, Shaw reports a drop in cable and satellite TV subscribers

The YouTubers CMOs need to meet

Four made-in-Canada YouTube channels brands should become acquainted with

Bell and Rogers in disagreement over NHL GamePlus mobile app

Canada's biggest media companies face off over access to NHL content

Fashion Magazine launches awards show

Inaugural event caps off annual World MasterCard Fashion Week

TVB disputes IAB’s ad spend figures

Television marketing body says numbers unfairly include digital spend on traditional media including broadcast and print

Rogers partners with Netflix on original series

Between starts filming in Toronto this fall