Friday, October 28, 2011
Azure magazine’s ( Melony Ward reports that sales of their digital single copy and subscription offerings are quite robust.

“We’ve been part of the Zinio program offered by Magazines Canada since April of 2010, or 18 months thus far, and we are extremely pleased by the results, ” says Melony Ward, Executive Publisher.

Azure has sold 1,457 digital single copies, or 81 per month, since launching the offering.  Sales continue to grow, with the Jul/Aug issue selling 207 units compared to 121 in the same time slot last year, for a 71% increase.  The Jan/Feb 2011 issue sold 221 copies, up from 63, for a 250% increase. Year to date in 2011, digital single copy sales are up 40%.

“Given the high demographic quality of Azure’s audience, we are not really surprised. Our readers are highly educated, affluent, design savvy, forward thinkers, so they are naturally curious about new technology, ” says Ward.

On the subscription side, Azure has sold 1,061 digital subscriptions thus far, or 59 per month. In July of 2010 they sold 92 but in 2011 sold 159 for a 73% improvement. Year to date (Jan–Sep), Azure has sold 613 digital subs compared to 239 last year, for a 156% improvement.

Azure’s paid circulation, (CCAB audited) averages 13,741.

Azure’s digital single copies sell for $5.95

Azure’s digital subscriptions sell for $25.95

Compared to other mass market titles who reported digital on their audit statements, Azure’s performance is astounding relative to their overall circulation level…in fact it is better than almost every other magazine in Canada (See stats by clicking here)

It should also be noted that Azure’s single copy sales on the regular print edition are up 8% for the first half of 2011. The industry average is forecast to be down 10% for all english language magazines in Canada.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The June 2011 ABC statements for ten of the most prestigious and beloved Canadian and U.S. magazines offer some interesting statistics on the very hot topic of digital replica edtions, both for single copy sales and for subscriptions.

Of the ten titles in the Canadian set of magazines, Canadian House & Home is enjoying the best reported success.  Paid digital subscriptions now number 2,295, up 63%.  They are also the only Canadian magazine in the group to report on digital single copy sales, with an average of 279 per issue.  Digital subscriptions account for 1.4% of their total paid subscriptions, while digital single copy sales represent 0.4% of total single copy sales, which means digital accounts for 1.1% of their total paid circulation.

Of the ten titles in the U.S. set of magazines, Cosmopolitan leads the pack, with 81,690 digital subscriptions reported.  However, this is down 16,400 or 17% from the previous ABC statement.  Still, digital subscriptions represent 6.1% of the reported paid subscriptions, by far more than any of the other titles in the group.

Oprah posted a big gain in digital subscriptions, reporting a total of 12,567, up by 10,672 or a 563% improvement.

Esquire posted a big gain in digital subscriptions, reporting 20,997, up by 8,845 or a 73% improvement.

Rollingstone posted a gain of 7,288 digital subscriptions for a 119% improvement.

The New Yorker reported a gain of 4,500 digital subscriptions for a 105% improvement.

As impressive as these gains are, digital subs represent 0.7% of Oprah’s subscriptions, 3.5% of Esquire’s subscriptions, 1% of Rollingstone’s subscriptions, and .09% of the New Yorker’s subscriptions.

On the digital single copy front, Vanity Fair led the pack, reporting an average sale of 9,600 digital single copies.  However, this was up just 2% from the previous ABC statement, with digital single copy sales accounting for 2.7% of the paid single copy sales reported.

The biggest gainer was the New Yorker, reporting an average digital single copy sale of 2,817 copies, when they had zero in the previous period.  Digital singles now represent an astounding 8.9% of their reported paid single copy sales.

Other notable gainers were Cosmopolitan, who reported a 1007% gain in digital singles, from an average of 203 per issue to 2,247 per issue.  Oprah got into the game too, reporting an average sale of 1,320 digital single copy sales, up from 190 in the previous ABC period, for a 595% gain.  (CLICK ON CHARTS TO ENLARGE)

Thursday, October 06, 2011
The November issue of FASHION features cover girl Gwen Stefani. A total of nine “entry points” give consumers lots of reasons to make an impulse connection. The white background is strong. The benefits are numerous. The fun factor is obvious.

Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra had this to say:

“I have been after Gwen Stefani for a FASHION cover ever since I arrived at this magazine more than two years ago. I think Gwen is a perfect FASHION cover girl – a glamourous mom, talented performer and fashion devotee. My dream finally came true last spring when our beauty editor Sarah Daniel flew to Cannes to interview Gwen during the Cannes Film Festival. The cover photo was also taken in Cannes.”

Magazine junkies who purchase at Shoppers Drug Mart will get a polybagged version, including a copy of Men’s Fashion as a bonus, featuring the Duke.  Nice package indeed. (Click on cover to enlarge.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Fly Fusion, the award-winning quarterly magazine for fly fishing enthusiasts, published out of Calgary, has just released their 2011 Special Interest Publication, Fly Fishing Destinations. The cover price is $8.95, normal issues are $7.95. While the core product has always focused clearly on tactical advice, this special issue points passionate fisherman to “dream locations and monster fish.” It also tempts the reader with specific species that they may be seeking to persue.

Like all good SIPs this issue has an original stand-alone feel, while still paying homage to the mother brand. It is hoped that this will help mitigate against premature returns. The unique selling proposition is clearly labeled as part of the overall logo area. What are we selling?  Fly Fishing Destinations, of course, or in case there was any doubt, Dream Locations and Monster Fish.

Fly Fusion’s Canadian sales have increased by 167% in the past year. These results were achieved by increasing the cover price, expanding dealer coverage, enhancing the quality of the binding and cover stock, and by focusing on benefit-oriented cover lines. In the U.S.,sales have increased by over 22%, with draws remaining steady; therefore this growth is all about the product delivering on quality, and covers that are resonating with consumers. The most recent issue closed with a sell-through over 51%.

The SIP goes on sale October 10th.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011
The 10th Annual Canadian Newsstand Awards were held last week at the Spoke Club in downtown Toronto.

This year, for the first time, categories were no longer based on the size of a magazine’s circulation, but rather on the subject matter or genre of the magazine. As in the past, 50% of the judges’ score is based on actual newsstand sales…i.e. the consumer votes with their wallet…the other 50% is based on artistic merit.

In the Sports & Leisure category, FLY FUSION (a client of took home the gold. For this perfect-bound glossy, published out of Calgary, the news was validation of many years of hard work honing the quality of their magazine. “We are thrilled. It’s a victory for small, independently published magazines,” said Publisher Jennifer Bird. The magazine enjoyed the best sale ever in its history. And it did it the old fashioned way with a fantastic editorial cover story, excellent art direction and solid distribition. Not a penny was spent promoting it…proving that a great cover and great editorial product still resonates with consumers and with the judges.

Other winners included Legion magazine’s WW1 SIP, which took the bronze in the SIP Category, and Kenilworth Media’s Canadian Business Franchise Directory, also a bronze winner in the News, Business, Celebrity category.

Other gold winners were:

Moi & Cie, Wedding Bells, Zoomer, Canadian House & Home, Maclean’s , Owl, and 7 Jours.

The Newsstand Marketer of the Year was Mary Cosgrove. Richly deserved!

Congratulations to all the finalists and all the winners!

Special thanks go out to all ths sponsors of this fine event.  For a complete list click on link below:

About Me
Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock is the the creator of Bullock has worked as circulation director for both consumer and B2B magazines including Toronto Life and FASHION. If you have a great cover to share, please send all submissions to 

Note to readers: some of Bullock's posts may refer to his clients.
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Any news on how it performed on newsstands?...
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