Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Digital Statistics

Posted by Scott On October - 14 - 2011

The June 2011 ABC statements for ten of the most prestigious and beloved Canadian and U.S. magazines offer some interesting statistics on the very hot topic of digital replica edtions, both for single copy sales and for subscriptions.

Of the ten titles in the Canadian set of magazines, Canadian House & Home is enjoying the best reported success.  Paid digital subscriptions now number 2,295, up 63%.  They are also the only Canadian magazine in the group to report on digital single copy sales, with an average of 279 per issue.  Digital subscriptions account for 1.4% of their total paid subscriptions, while digital single copy sales represent 0.4% of total single copy sales, which means digital accounts for 1.1% of their total paid circulation.

Of the ten titles in the U.S. set of magazines, Cosmopolitan leads the pack, with 81,690 digital subscriptions reported.  However, this is down 16,400 or 17% from the previous ABC statement.  Still, digital subscriptions represent 6.1% of the reported paid subscriptions, by far more than any of the other titles in the group.

Oprah posted a big gain in digital subscriptions, reporting a total of 12,567, up by 10,672 or a 563% improvement.

Esquire posted a big gain in digital subscriptions, reporting 20,997, up by 8,845 or a 73% improvement.

Rollingstone posted a gain of 7,288 digital subscriptions for a 119% improvement.

The New Yorker reported a gain of 4,500 digital subscriptions for a 105% improvement.

As impressive as these gains are, digital subs represent 0.7% of Oprah’s subscriptions, 3.5% of Esquire’s subscriptions, 1% of Rollingstone’s subscriptions, and .09% of the New Yorker’s subscriptions.

On the digital single copy front, Vanity Fair led the pack, reporting an average sale of 9,600 digital single copies.  However, this was up just 2% from the previous ABC statement, with digital single copy sales accounting for 2.7% of the paid single copy sales reported.

The biggest gainer was the New Yorker, reporting an average digital single copy sale of 2,817 copies, when they had zero in the previous period.  Digital singles now represent an astounding 8.9% of their reported paid single copy sales.

Other notable gainers were Cosmopolitan, who reported a 1007% gain in digital singles, from an average of 203 per issue to 2,247 per issue.  Oprah got into the game too, reporting an average sale of 1,320 digital single copy sales, up from 190 in the previous ABC period, for a 595% gain.  (CLICK ON CHARTS TO ENLARGE)

2 Responses to “Digital Statistics”

  1. RK-Richmond Hill says:

    Looks like the printed magazines are here to stay for some time.
    Here is another look from advertising point of view – the digital ads are just not making the cut:

  2. Scott says:

    That’s right Rudy. While Oprah Magazine’s 563% increase in digital subs sounds impressive, the total digital subs and digital singles is still just .06% of the total circulation story. Chances are that the ad sales team is spending a bit more time selling the benefits of reaching the 1.9 million print subscribers and the 544,000+ newsstand buyers, or the 99.4% of the paid circulation to Oprah.

Leave a Reply


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.



    Activate the Flickrss plugin to see the image thumbnails!