Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Radio Interview (Niche Magazines Rule)

Posted by Scott On July - 5 - 2016

news_green-125x125On Sunday, July 3rd, 2016, I appeared on Mark Towhey’s radio show on CFRB News Talk 1010.

Mark contacted me through the offices of Magazines Canada, to discuss the current market conditions for magazines.

A self described “magazine junky”, Mark’s first question had to do with Men’s Magazines, and specifically regarding how Playboy was doing since dropping nudity.

The link to the radio interview is here:

In Canada in 2014, Playboy sold  71,262 copies.  In 2015 they sold just 50,830 copies, down 29%.  The time for a change had finally arrived.  In March of 2016 Playboy decided to drop nudity.  That issue was up 24% from the same slot last year, selling 5,658 copies in Canada.  It should be noted that the last issue WITH nudity, January 2016, was up 149% from prior year.  The cover featured Canadian Pamela Anderson.  It sold-thru at an astounding 72%.   Dealer coverage has expanded in Canada now that there is no nudity (up 28% effective with the June 2016 issue).

2016 Mar (first issue no nudity)2016 Jan (Last issue with nudity)

We also discussed the fact that many niche magazines are actually thriving these days.  Here are just a few examples of Canadian magazines that are doing great.

Niche Magazines Rule:

  1. Canadian Antiques & Vintage:  Sales up 92% in 2015.  Best Year Ever!  Sales up 189% since 2008.
  2. Canadian Cycling:  Sales up 11% in 2015.  Best Year Ever!   Sales up 50% since launching in 2010.
  3. Canada’s History:  Sales up 40% in 2015.  Best Year Ever!  4 of 6 issues broke sales records.  Sales up 506% since 2004.
  4. Creative Scrapbooker:  Sales up 14% in 2015.  Now distributing in the USA too!
  5. Dirt Trax:  Sales up for 3rd year in a row.  Revenue up 16% in 2015.  Best result since 2009.
  6. Fly Fusion:  Sales up 10% in 2015.  Best Year Ever!  Sales in Canada up 138 since 2008.  USA sales up for 7th year in a row…up 83% since 2008.
  7. Harrowsmith Almenac:  Sales up 3%.  Revenue up 21% in 2015, due to cover price increase.
  8. Horse Sport:  Sales up 158% in 2015.  On track for best year ever in 2016!
  9. Horse Canada Annual:  Sales up 96% in 2015.
  10. Legion Magazine:  Sales up for 6th of last 7 years.  Had zero sales in 2008, now doing $275,191 dollars of sales.
  11. Outdoor Canada Fishing Annual:  Up 21% in 2015.

2016MayJun (Small)DecJan 2015 (Small)Dec 2014 (Small)


2015 Winter (Small)Vol 17 #4 (Small)Winter 2015 (Small)


2016 Regular (Small)Oct 2015 (Small)2015 Annual


Liberating Normanday (Small)Fishing 2015 Annual

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About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.



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