New Launches Slow Down in Q 3… but Book-a-Zines Are Getting Stronger

October 8, 2010

New magazine launches slowed down in the third quarter of 2010 compared to that of 2009. The total number of new launches was 186 compared with 211 in 2009. The net result was a negative 25 titles. Add to that the number of magazines published with an intended frequency of four times or more dropped by seven titles. In the third quarter of 2010 a total of 42 new launches made their way for the first time to the nation’s newsstands compared with 49 in 2009.

One thing of note is that during the last three months an average of 45 book-a-zines arrived on the newsstands every month. With an average price tag of $10.99 and a frequency of one and a half title every day, those book-a-zines are starting to occupy a major chunk of the newsstands’ space including that at the checkout counters. It seems that what used to be referred too as SIPs (Special Interest Publications) is now the book-a-zines that offer a higher quality paper weight and a sense of a “keeper” rather than a “disposable” item.

One theory behind this change is the fact that as newspapers become more like daily magazines (I know we are still far away from that in the United States, but no so far in Europe), the weekly magazines have to become more like the monthly glossies, and the monthlies must become more of a paperback book. That is why I said, and will continue to say, that the print problem is not in the medium but rather in the message that it carries. The message must and should be relevant, necessary and sufficient. The times are changing, and the message must change to be relevant to the medium. The medium is NOT the message anymore. But, that is the subject of a future blog. Stay tuned.


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