NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Newsstand sales took their sharpest dive of the recession yet in the first half of the year, the semiannual report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations revealed today. Single-copy sales, hurt not just by the economy but also a temporary disruption at magazine wholesalers, fell 12.4% from a year earlier, following year-over-year declines of 11.1% in the second half of 2008 and 6.3% in the first half of 2008.
Twenty-four of the top 25 newsstand sellers posted declines in the first half of 2009, according to the audit bureau, including top seller Cosmopolitan, down 7.8% from the first half of 2008. The lone gainer in the top 25 was Real Simple, which posted a 1.2% increase.
Total paid and verified circulation, however, slipped just 1.2% as subscriptions held their ground, gaining 0.6%, and publishers reduced their use of verified copies, which are distributed free in public places such as doctors' offices, by 3.9%.
Among big magazines (those that report paid and verified circulations over 100,000 copies), 10 of the top 25 posted top-line gains, including the biggest, AARP the Magazine, where overall paid circulation rose 2.8% to 24.6 million.
The biggest top-line gainers included Global Traveler, up 48.3% to 106,654 copies; Off-Road Adventures, up 31.1% to 108,654; Women's Health, up 29.7% to 1.5 million; Hobby Farms, up 29.7% to 126,270; and Taste of Home Healthy Cooking, up 29.4% to 759,472.
Top 25 U.S. consumer magazines by total paid and verified circulation
|PUBLICATION||6 MONTHS ENDING 6/30/09||6 MONTHS ENDING 6/30/08||% CHANGE|
|AARP the Magazine||24,554,819||23,893,285||2.77%|
|Better Homes and Gardens||7,634,197||7,651,178||-0.22%|
|Ladies' Home Journal||3,842,791||3,844,222||-0.04%|
|Game Informer Magazine||3,601,201||3,498,935||2.92%|
|Taste of Home||3,302,601||3,198,029||3.27%|
|AAA Going Places||2,521,974||2,547,092||-0.99%|