Magazines' Newsstand Sales Keep Plummeting
It's tempting to see this deceleration as the beginning of a turnaround for magazines, but that's almost certainly not the case. More likely, as the most marginal readers fall away -- the ones who are price- or economy-sensitive, or who are young and fickle in their media-consumption patterns -- what's left is a harder core of habitual readers.
Of the 25 titles that sell the most copies on the newsstand, only six -- Wenner Media'sUs Weekly, Hearst's O: The Oprah Magazine and Seventeen, Condé Nast's Vanity Fair, and Time Warner's (TWX) People StyleWatch and Real Simple -- managed to sell more copies in 2009 than in 2008. The biggest increase was at Real Simple, which sold 411,705 copies per issue, up 6.2%. Four of the top 25 suffered double-digit decreases, with Hearst's Good Housekeeping sliding the most (-30.8%).