It’s becoming a moot point, but digital growth’s continues to offset slowing magazine sales nationwide.
The average circulation of magazines fell on average by 5 per cent in the first half of 2015, while digital circulation rose to 409,414 in the period, up 21 per cent year-on-year. Interestingly, more than a third (37) of the 90 digital editions audited by the ABC posted dips in their circulations as titles like Empire (down 12.5 per cent to 11,443) and Men’s Health (down 12 per cent 9,113) are hampered by both tough competition and also shifting consumer attitudes toward their content from online-first to online-only.
It’s a trend that’s not yet affected every title. The Economist sold the most digital editions during the period, boasting a 22 per cent jump in worldwide circulation over the last six months and a 69 per cent rise year-on-year. The current affairs title’s total digital circulation is now at a record 282,829 copies off the back of a 69 per cent jump in digital subscriptions.
The publication’s chief marketing officer Michael Brunt talked up the impact of digital subscriptions on its bi-annual performance, a benefit dependent on the fact that its digital edition closely resembles the content in its print format.
Many publishers tend to prioritise bundle subscriptions instead of digital only for the digital certificate because they’re unable to include many of their apps in the ABC audit due to the fact that digital editions need to be less than 10 per cent different to the print version – which is normally due to ads.
“Our latest circulation numbers are in line with what we have seen over the last few years – a steady migration to digital, said Brunt.
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