About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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July 20, 2009


Terry Greene Sterling

I'm told my book will sell for around $16.95 when it hits the stands in the spring of 2010. So what is newsstand price for one issue of Newsweek?

Steve Klein

Newsweek is trying to be something is wasn't. Who has time to read a magazine, no matter how intelligent it tries to be be, that is a week late and, as you point out, more than a dollar short. I really like Jon Meacham, but he's screwed up; this doesn't work.

Mark Potts

As the post says, the newsstand price of Newsweek is $5.95.

Virginia Postrel

The number sounds bad, but what was it, say, 10 years ago? How significant have newsstand sales been for Newsweek historically? Some magazines sell a high percentage of copies on the newsstands, while others are almost entirely subscriber publications. Without telling us whether this is a huge drop-off from Newsweek's past performance, it's not a very meaningful analysis. The magazine is indeed in big trouble, but this comment doesn't prove it.

Mark Potts

According to this Portfolio story (http://bit.ly/12Abjj), Newsweek's newsstand sales were running at about 85,000 a year or so ago, and at about 110,000 a few months before that. The decline has been precipitous. As that story says, newsstand sales "are still the best and most direct indicator of consumer interest, whereas subscription totals can be manipulated through any number of devices."

Magazine guy

This is an interesting post and you make some good points. Some notes though:

>Newsstand sales are not the best indicator of consumer interest. They can be manipulated by purchases of promotional space and magazines' newsstand sales rise and fall with those purchases.

>Other than celeb mags and titles such as what maxim once was, a great many magazines do not make their money on newsstand sales. Newsstand visibility is often used to raise a magazine's profile to advertisers, where the bulk of much revenue comes from.

>Even 10 years ago less than 5% of each Newsweek's, Time's, and US News's total was came from newsstand so we're talking about the fluctuation of a 3 - 4% portion of their circ, nothing they will live or die by.

>Newsweek sells about as many newsstand copies each week as The Economist, a healthy and thriving magazine.

>You could be off by tens of thousands in your estimate of number of locations that sell newsweek. But you could be right too. A weekly magazine such as Newsweek likely sells only 20% - 25% of the copies it distributes.

Hope that helps.

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