11:07 am Feb. 7, 2012
During a six month period in which the magazine industry continued to see decreases in subscriptions and newsstand sales, New York's hometown glossies still eked out small circulation gains.
Between July 2011 and the end of December, New York magazine's average paid circulation increased .1 percent to 405,532, according to the latest data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations; though newsstand sales were down 7.6 percent to 14,204, that's less of a decline than the industry as a whole saw (nearly 10 percent).
The New Yorker's average circulation, meanwhile, increased 2.2 percent to 1,047,260, and newsstand sales were up 2.8 perecent to 33,530.
Each magazine, of course, spins out its own narrative to describe what A.B.C. reports. But as a whole, paid circulation for the 408 consumer titles that reported their numbers this most recent period was down 1.01 percent, an improvement from the previous six month period's decline of 1.36 percent; that in turn was an improvement over the 2.23 percent circulation drop that magazines saw in the six months ending in December, 2009.
One Conde Nast glossy saw what, in the current market, is a big bump: GQ's circulation was up 4.5 percent to 980,254. But two other big titles from the magazine titan were down: Vogue's circulation dropped 1.7 percent to roughly 1.26 million and Vanity Fair's dropped 4.8 percent to around 1.22 million. The latter's newsstand sales plummetted by 20.1 percent to 323,946, though that was still enough for Vanity Fair to finish 25th on the list of the top 25 consumer magazines on the newsstand. Comparable Hearst titles Esquire and Elle were down 2.1 percent and up 1.9 percent to 706,849 and 1.15 million respectively.
In the newsweekly category, Time broke into the top 25 total circulation ranking (no. 11) with a .5 percent decrease to 3.23 million.
Newsweek was down 1.8 percent overall to 1.52 million, though buzz-chaser Tina Brown managed a small newsstand bump of .3 percent year-over-year. (So were all those controversial covers worth it?)
Bloomberg Businessweek, also still flying high from a relatively new editor and redesign, boosted its total average circulation by 1 percent to 932,567, though its single copy sales were down 9.4 percent to 16,595. The Atlantic, which is monthly, fell 3.6 percent overall to 465,075.
In addition to magazines, ABC also reports circulation trends for alternative newsweeklies, which are free. In that category, the ever-shrinking Village Voice continued its circulation slide, dropping 12.8 percent to 165,197 copies.
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