Magazines and newspapers are continuing to evolve, and digital magazines are no exception. Developments like Adobe allowing easier chunking of paid information and a new, if shaky, trend for magazines to institute paywalls are changing the value and the position of digital magazines.
As Next Steps Marketing does with every six-month audited period, we’ve created the Digital Magazine Dashboard to review and compare publishers, newsstand platforms, and different time periods. Below are the top 9 takeaways from this six-month period ending December 31, 2015, and compared to a year ago. We use BPA and AAM data to create this comparison of top digital titles.
1. Digital as % of total circulation holds steady. Total digital circulation as a proportion of total circulation is more or less steady, at 6.5%, compared to 6.7% last period. That’s a 2.8% decrease over a year ago.
2. Top 10 magazines are 90% consumer. The Top 10 titles with the most digital circulation have between 57.1% and 12.7% of their circulation in digital. All but one of the titles is a consumer-based title, with IEEE Spectrum being the B2B exception. The top three in digital circulation: NYLON with 57.1%, IEEE with 49.4% and Backpacker with 31.3%.The top five magazines with the largest total circulation growth year-over-year.
3. Sponsored subscriptions declined by almost 1/3. Sponsored subs, which took off like a bullet a year ago, have seen a steep decline over this year. While digital subscriptions have held their own, losing 1.4% over the past year, sponsored subs, dropped 27.5% over the past year and are back down to the 2013 numbers.
4. Without sponsored, digital circulation increased. Once you take out sponsored subscriptions, our Top 30 titles saw a 4.1% increase overall in total digital circulation. Five new additions entered the Top 30 pie: New York magazine and Bloomberg’s Business Week, Hot Rod, Vanity Fair, and Family Circle.