Slide in overall magazine circ slows

ABC releases its bi-annual circulation report, with findings that indicate less decline in single-copy sales compared to its last report.

The health of Canadian magazines was not nearly as dreary in the first half of this year as it looked earlier this year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ latest report.  

Overall paid and verified circulation was down 1.58% over the same reporting period last year (paid subscriptions were down just 0.3%). Total single-copy sales dropped the most over 2008 figures, down 8.43%.

Although the drop in single-copy sales is significant, it is not nearly as steep as the 23.63% decline seen in 2008 (as compared to the same reporting period in 2007). Paid subscriptions looked even better, the 0.3% drop over 2008 figures is minute compared to the 4.78% drop reported in second half of 2008.

There was growth in the mag market as well, a bright spot for those hoping that the slide in magazine health is starting to stabilize. Hello! continued its upward trajectory with a single-copy sales climb of 14.5% and a paid subscription increase of 161.2%. Fashion magazine also did well in paid subscriptions, climbing 18.9%. Canadian Living saw its subscriptions and single-copy sales both up over 2%, and Flare‘s single-copy and subscription sales rose 6.1% and 8.4% respectively. Two of the biggest drops in paid subscriptions were What’s Up with a drop of 42.5% and The Beaver dropping 17.3%.

In single-copy sales, there were some significant drops at Canadian Geographic (24.3%), Elle Canada (21.9%) Outdoor Canada (27.2%), What’s Up (71.3%) and Profit magazine, which saw a whopping 89.2% decline. Increases in single-copy sales could be found at Chatelaine (36.5%), MacLean’s (2.1%) and Canadian Business (14.1%).