“Digital is not killing print,” was the message of Jay Annis, president of the Periodical and Book Association of America, speaking to the annual PBAA Canada meeting in Toronto last week.
“Digital is not growing the way it was and print sales are starting to come back,” Annis said.
Annis attributed declines in magazine single copy sales to “loss of space” in grocery and other chains.
“There is a need to re-invent the distribution pattern,” he added. “It can’t survive the way it is now.”
Annis recommended that publishers devote one per cent of sales revenue to “sales promotion rather than logistics.”
In a presentation on magazine buying trends, Kevin Brannigan and Anita Baldwinson of TNG described a POS tracking method that has revealed significant increases in sales at key points during the year.
Peak summer holiday weeks bring higher sales, with People magazine having shown a 20 per cent rise over its average for the first half. Easter and Valentine’s Day also showed rises, due to “more shoppers being in the stores.”
Largest increases in sales came during the Christmas holiday season with some titles showing increases of 80 per cent over the rest of the year.
Publishers should look at scheduling premium priced special editions during these periods, the TNG presenters said.
Tracey McKinley of Ricardo magazine spoke on the successful launch of the English language edition of Ricardo, a spin-off of the long-established Quebec food magazine. She described a “world class” magazine launch that included a bag lunch for a thousand people at Dundas Square in Toronto.
Large TV screens promoting current issues are proving an effective sales tool for Gateway News. Arlene Shepard described the current newsstand market as “exciting, vibrant, and frightening.” She said the company’s all-franchise operation has turned to diversification, including making space for free publications “which attracts buyers into our stores.”
Richard Repper of Montreal-based newsdealer Presse Commerce called for a $2.5 million ad campaign to support newsstand sales. He pledged $50,000 to get the campaign going.