ABC: Digital magazine editions growing but print is falling away

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Jasper Jackson, Metrics, TheMediaBriefing Experts' Blog


UPDATE: See Patrick's analysis of what's wrong with these figures and why they dont tell the full story, right here.

Digital magazines are on the rise, but print is falling ten times faster.

Analysis of today's ABC magazine figures for the second half of 2012 show that digital edition circulation was up 16 percent to 214,000. That's an additional 29,000 digital editions over the six months.

But beware - only 60 titles did report digital edition stats to the ABC and during the same period those titles lost a combined total of 314,000 from their print circulations - more than ten times the number of digital editions added. 

In percentage terms, the print fall is far smaller - at 3.6 percent - but the starting points are so far apart that the net loss in circulation is a whopping 285,000

That's 285,000 people who have given up buying the print edition who aren't forking out for the digital edition either. Digital editions may be catching on, but not fast enough - and currently they make up only a tiny proportion of total circulation. 

One caveat to these figures. The ABC stats don't include digital editions that are more than 95 percent different to the print version. Going by figures like these from Future, many interactive versions are selling well. 

But digital editions will have to start selling 10 times as well to make up the shortfall from the decline in print.

Image via Flickr curtousey of rich115

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