Print magazine sales are starting to incur some noticeable declines as customers flock to the digital realm. Newsstand sales of U.S. consumer magazines dropped 12% in the first half of 2014 from a year earlier, while paid subscriptions declined 1.8%.
Newsstand, or single-copy, sales have been considered the best gauge of consumer demand because they can’t be propped up by deeply discounted subscriptions or free copies distributed in public places such as doctors’ offices.
Digital editions continue to be a small but growing portion of magazines’ total circulation mix. For the first half of 2014, magazines reported a total average of 11.6 million digital replica editions. This is some solid growth because in the first half of 2013 only 10.2 million digital editions were sold, or 3.3% of total circulation.