The single copy sales numbers, while down, were modest (down 1.7%), compared to the same period a year ago. And it was certainly a better result that the previous ABC Fas Fax results from the Jul-Dec 2011 period (down 2.4%).
A few things to remember:
1. These numbers are not necessarily indicative of pure newsstand sales, as bulk single copy sales, office copy sales, trade show singles can be included.
2. The numbers are in part estimates, as some issues are not closed/final when circulators are required to make their rate base claims. This can lead to conservative under-estimates, or aggressive over-estimates.
3. Given the small pool of magazines (62 in Canada) the big players’ results can skew the overall number down if they are struggling (more on this in a moment).
4. Keep in mind the fact that the French language and English language magazine markets can respond differently (more on this in a moment).
In total thirty six (36) titles reported single copy sales down (58% of the total titles reporting), while twenty-six (26) reported single copy sales increasing (or 42% of the ABC class).
Uppers (English Langauge):
Uppers (French Language):
Flare took a big hit (down 33.4%) from an average of 18,261 to 12,170…the largest % decline in the ABC set. Market leader Hello! was (down 18.2%) from an average of 84,649 to 69,225. Without the benefit of a Royal Wedding, this kind of wild swing can happen from a big, big, upside in the previous year.
To put the ABC single copy stats in context, had both Flare and Hello! simply posted comparable numbers to prior year, the outcome to the overall ABC single copy sale results would show an increase in single copy sales for the Jan-Jun 2012 period.
Of the twenty-seven (27) English language ABC titles reporting, fourteen (14) reported sales declines while thirteen (13) reported sales gains. In total, English language magazines single copy sales were actually up (yes by a hair at .3%, but up). This has the look of a fairly balanced market.
Of the thirty-five (35) French language ABC titles reporting, twenty-two (22) reported sales declines, with just thirteen (13) reporting single copy sales improvement. These rather unfortunate results pulled down the overall ABC number.
For an interesting overview from the U.S. see this link at Folio: http://www.foliomag.com/2012/abc-bumpy-first-half-consumer-magazine-circ-newsstand