Gossip Titles Prosper Despite Overall Magazine Declines
Gossip magazines seem to be the only category within the consumer magazine industry in Canada that are seeing increased sales - even as most other titles are posting significant declines in readership and ad revenue.
Hello! magazine in particular is doing well as the only celebrity weekly published in Canada for an English readership:
Total circulation in the second half of 2008 rose an impressive 76.1 per cent, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, bolstered by an increase in newsstand sales of 51.2 per cent. Total circulation topped out at just over 98,000.
Other newsstand success stories include Maclean's magazine, which increased its single-sale circulation 6.5 per cent amid a total circulation drop of 1.1 per cent to just over 352,000 average copies.
Those were rare bright spots in a landscape in which overall single-copy sales for Canadian magazines dropped 23.6 per cent.
Fashion magazines are taking a hard hit - Elle, Flare and Fashion all reported single-copy sales declines of between 10.3 and 39.9%, losses which are much worse when compared to the declines of US fashion magazines. Like Canada's Hello! magazine, America's People magazine also enjoyed a slight gain in sales over recent months.