With the royal wedding, the Japan earthquake, the Occupy movement and the Arab spring, it’s not like there was a shortage of news in 2011. But you wouldn’t know it looking at newsstand sales for the nation’s magazines.
Though some brands, such as Food Network Magazine, ended up, single-copy sales of consumer magazines took a hit in the second half of last year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Publishers sold 28.9 million newsstand copies – 9.96% less than the number sold over the same period in 2010.
Women’s and celebrity rags especially suffered. All three of the highest-volume publications slipped, with Cosmopolitan down 6.7%, Woman’s World down 8.3% and People down 12%.
Other major names, such as In Style, National Enquirer and Vanity Fair, endured double digit plunges as stores pushed magazine racks into less trafficked aisles and consumers resisted impulse buys. Newsstand sales for O, the Oprah Magazine, dived 32%.
Blame it on the Internet? A survey from Pew Research Center shows that 47% of American adults now get at least some of their news on a cellphone or tablet computer.
Meanwhile, paid and verified circulation for magazine subscriptions slumped 1%.
Market leader AARP, whose publications the Magazine and Bulletin lead the list with more than 22 million copies each, saw paid circulation slump nearly 6%.
Third-ranked Better Homes and Gardens slipped nearly 1% to 7.6%.
There were precipitous slides at some publications, including Ladies’ Home Journal’s 15.7% decline to 3.2 million in circulation. But subscriptions were a bright spot for magazines geared toward younger women, with Cosmopolitan and Glamour recording upticks.
And video game publication Game Informer magazine saw a massive spike of 48% to 7.5 million in circulation.