Facts About Magazines

At the MPA/PBAA Retail Marketplace conference in Philadelphia, Gil Brechtel, from the Magazine Information Network (MagNet) presented 14 fun facts about the magazine business at retail outlets in the United States. His fun facts, all based on research and analysis from MagNet, were so intriguing, I asked him for permission to post them here… so here are 14 fascinating and educating fun facts about the magazine business at the newsstands:

1. About 50% of all magazine copies are sold on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The lowest selling day of the week is Wednesday, with only about 11.5% of the total sold on an average week.

2. November is the weakest month for magazines sales, even though the day before Thanksgiving is among the best magazine sales days each year.

3. Bookazine sales typically spike during the first few weeks of July, where the average cover price of all magazines sold during that period has ballooned by about 12% in recent years.

4. Average monthly sales in June, July and August are 7% higher than the rest of the year, helped by a spike in teen and children magazine title sales!
December is a good month for those categories also.

5. On average, the biggest week to week sales gain comes during week 13, around the last week of March, where sales are consistently 8-10% higher during this week compared to week 12.

6. Friday, followed by Sunday, are the two best days for magazine sales in airport terminals.

7. Although Saturday is generally the best magazine sales day of the week, in July, Sunday sales outpace Saturday sales by almost 8%.

8. In the fall, celebrity title sales usually dip, while titles in the Food, Health and Automotive categories spike during the 4th quarter.

9. The computer category has the highest overall cover price of copies sold. The average cover price peaked at about $10.70 in Dec 2012. That is a 20% increase over 2010 prices.

10. Sales tails matter! Bookazines and other SIPS on sale for 2 months or longer sell nearly 20% of their copies after they’ve been on the shelves more than 6 weeks.

11. Supercenters show strong seasonal magazine sales increases in the summer, experiencing up to a 50% average surge in sales in the first three weeks of July!

12. Based on MagNet’s sample of non-bookstore retailers, 20% of all books sold in 2012 were sold on Saturdays. Friday is the second highest sales day.

13. Only 10% of Newsstand COT sales occur on Saturday, as opposed to nearly 20% at Bookstores.

14. How important to the industry are celebrity titles? Celebrity magazines sell more copies than the total sales of titles in the Food, Games, Health, Automotive, Home, Lifestyle and Teen categories combined.