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Magazine Newsstand Sales Tumble Again
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The downward trend in newsstand sales is continuing – and may even be gathering speed, judging by the latest figures from MagNet, which tracks single-copy sales at retail for U.S. magazine publishers.
The total number of print magazines sold via newsstands and other retail channels fell 10.3% from 128.8 million in the third quarter of 2014 to 115.5 million in the third quarter of 2015, MagNet found, while the total dollar value of these sales fell 9.8% from $697 million to $628.9 million.
Among the nation's top publishers, Time Inc.'s total unit sales fell 13.1% to 17.3 million, while dollar sales were down 11.3% to $113.3 million; Bauer's unit sales were down 3.2% to 25.6 million as dollar sales slipped 2.7% to $68.4 million; American Media's unit sales were down 13.2% to 12.3 million while dollar sales decreased 13.1% to $62.6 million.
Hearst's unit sales plunged 21.9% to 6.7 million, with dollars down 20.3% to $30.1 million, and Meredith's unit sales fell 16.1% to 4.3 million, as dollar sales declined 15.2% to $27.2 million.
The overall draw, referring to the number of magazines distributed to retailers, fell 1.8% from 430.2 million to 422.5 million, while the proportion of those actually sold fell from 31% to 27.4%.
The third-quarter figures come on top of a weak performance in the first half of the year, according to MagNet, when the total volume of magazines distributed by wholesalers slipped 2.6% to 784 million.
The volume of issues sold fell even more, with an 18.5% drop from 254.5 million issues to 207.5 million over the same period, and the dollar value of these sales fell 13.9% from $1.29 billion to $1.11 billion.
From 2013 to 2014, total newsstand sales plunged 16.7% to 517.5 million units, but MagNet noted that much of this was due to the closing of wholesale distributor Source Interlink Distribution in May 2014.
© 2016 MediaPost Communications
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Web analytics firm Moat raised $50 million to develop a new metric to rival the likes of Google, Nielsen and comScore.
In an investment round led by Insight Venture Partners (which has invested in Twitter, Chegg, Tumblr, Flipboard and Hootsuite), Moat will create a "new ad currency" aimed at helping advertisers and publishers assess whether people pay attention to digital ads and are influenced by them, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Currently, the Journal reported, the metric is in development. And for the record, Chief Executive Officer, Jonah Goodhart, said Moat sees companies like Nielsen and Google as potential partners in its new metric project.
Will a new currency catch on?
Tom Burg, VP of Product Marketing at Centro (a Moat partner), said in an email that brands lament the fact that buying and measuring digital is so complicated relative to TV and that "anything that can be done to narrow the gap between the two experiences is going to be a positive for all of us."
Kimber Robbins, VP of Product Management of the IPG Mediabrands ad tech unit Cadreon, said in an email that there's room to improve current standards, adding that Cadreon would prefer independent measurement specialists provide the currency rather than major inventory owners who may introduce bias to their own inventory.
She added that the company wants to move away from using proxies rather than a direct measurement of the thing it's really interested in: rather than viewability, the impact of an ad's contribution to the campaign goal.
Moat shouldn't underestimate the task of introducing a new metric, Robbins said, mentioning last-touchpoint attribution as an example of an industry standard that's been resistant to change. Most clients are still working on that model since it's what they know, she said, and Moat will probably find similar intransigence.
Jon Bond, founder of marketing services holding company Tomorro, said over email that measurement currencies have always been blunt instruments, and a new one would have to be flexible and multidimensional to work with the hyper-relevance of digital.
"I think it would have to be more about currencies than currency to move this forward," Bond said.
© 2016 MediaPost Communications
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