Mac Magazines Part of Newsstand Sales Slide

Slightly more than half of the consumer magazines sold in this country experienced a decline from the second half of 2004 to the second half of 2005, a phenomenon that also affected Macworld and MacAddict, both of which have seen their circulation hit historic lows.

According to Think Secret, Macworldis average circulation during the second half of 2005 was 356,144, down 3,700 copies from the first half of the year and just over half the record 653,676 average circulation recorded in the first half of 1998. While MacAddictis drop hasnit been as dramatic, it sold an average of 130,026 copies per month during the second half of last year, down 10,622 from the first half and off from its peak of 196,136 in the first half of 2000.

In addition, Macworld gave away a third of its copies last year, thanks to the free subscriptions given away with each Mac sold. MacAddict does the same, but it gives away fewer issues in the trial subscription, thus accounting for the mere 5% of its circulation that was free.

Think Secret spoke with Dan Capell, editor and publisher of an industry trade publication, who said: "Overall, if you take a look at the second half numbers of last year, 55% of consumer magazines showed a decline in circulation compared to the second half of 2004. Within that number, two-thirds (of magazines) reported lower sales on the newsstands."

However, he added, "the newsstand decline has been going on for 20 years. This is not a new phenomenon." He attributed the decrease to a glut of magazines, cable and satellite channels that appeal to niches previously addressed only by magazines, and the rise of the Internet.

Macworld offers an electronic edition, but itis actually more expensive than the print version. While its numbers were up from 22,242 copies in the first half of 2005 to 27,691 in the second half, roughly two-thirds of them were free. The publication also offers free electronic subscriptions to Mac buyers. MacAddict is print-only.