People isn’t the newsstand stalwart it once was.
For years the celebrity weekly held the No. 2 spot behind Cosmopolitan. But a 10.5 percent drop in newsstand sales in the first half of the year, to 1.2 million, caused the Time Inc. title to slip to No. 3 behind Hearst's Cosmo and Bauer's Woman’s World, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations’ magazine figures.
People’s single-copy sales were down less than its competitors, and its annual subscriptions, at a pricey $100, were up 6 percent. Still, that the usually reliable People was off as much as it was shows how tough it's been for magazines to sell newsstand copies.
For the industry overall, newsstand declined 9.2 percent. Paid subscriptions, which publishers have more control over, were down only slightly, which limited the decline in overall circulation to 1.4 percent.
There are some pockets of growth, however, especially among special-interest titles. Defying the conventional wisdom that guys don’t read magazines, Game Informer Magazine boosted its circulation by more than a third, to nearly 6 million, making the video game guide the fourth biggest consumer magazine after AARP’s titles and Better Homes and Gardens.
Hispanic-interest titles also dominated the fastest-growing magazines. Poder Hispanic, which formed last year with the merger of Poder and Hispanic magazines, more than doubled its circulation, to 278,786. Also showing strong year-over-year growth were Vanidades, TV Y Novelas Estados Unidos and Siempre Mujer.