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Magazine Newsstand Sales Undergo “Probably the Worst Year Ever”

News, 15 May 2001


The US magazine industry has received yet more bad news, with the release of a report from consultancy Harrington Associates LLC revealing that newsstand sales – which make up around 23% of total unit sales – fell in 2000.

Revenue from such sales fell 4% last year from $4.61 billion in 1999 to $4.43bn, while unit sales tumbled 10% to 1.61bn. Although the latter have been falling every year since 1996, the effect on publishers had until now been mitigated by rising cover prices.

In addition, a mere 35% of magazines sent out by publishers were sold – a fall from 38% in 1999 and the lowest figure ever recorded. Harrington went on to describe 2000 as “probably the worst year ever” for newsstand sales, blaming “the saturation of magazines” on the market.

The report comes at a particularly bad time for the magazine industry, only days after the announcement of a rise in postal rates and the release of figures showing a slump in ad revenue [WAMN: 08-May-01; 10-May-01].

News source: Wall Street Journal