The Condé Doth Protest Too Much; Circ Numbers Are ‘Meeting Expectations’

conde103108 0 The Condé Doth Protest Too Much; Circ Numbers Are Meeting ExpectationsSomething rare out of Condé Nast this morning: A press release extolling lukewarm circulation numbers from the first half of the year. Factoring in numbers from the Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ iPad apps, single copy sales are down 12.4 percent across the company’s 18 titles. Paid subscriptions are up 4 percent. (More circ numbers from Mediaweek.)

Our favorite sentence: “Newsstand price increases coupled with a decrease in the number of copies distributed resulted in lower sales but improved margins, meeting expectations.”

CONSUMER DEMAND FOR CONDÉ NAST MAGAZINES REMAINS STRONG
Total Circulation Increases Modestly In First Half of 2010

New York, N.Y., August 9, 2010 – Condé Nast’s circulation business is
vital, with volume up overall, strong revenue and the most desirable
readers engaged with its titles.  Total circulation across all
eighteen titles published by Condé Nast increased 0.7 percent in the
first half of 2010, as reported by Condé Nast to the Audit Bureau of
Circulations (ABC). Performance during this period reflects continued
consumer demand for Condé Nast’s magazines, with total circulation
growing 3 percent since December of 2007.

From January through June of 2010 total paid subscriptions for Condé
Nast increased 4 percent with most titles showing gains, while single
copy sales were down 12.4 percent overall. Volume was down for single
copy sales in part because of a distribution and pricing strategy
implemented to focus on efficiency and overall profitability.
Newsstand price increases coupled with a decrease in the number of
copies distributed resulted in lower sales but improved margins,
meeting expectations. Digital edition downloads for GQ, Vanity Fair
and Wired are counted as part of single copy sales.

“The direct relationships with readers through subscriptions, improved
margins at newsstand, and the sales of our digital editions are all
contributing to the overall health of our circulation business,” said
Robert A. Sauerberg, Jr., President of Condé Nast.  “With over 80
percent of our total circulation coming from subscriptions it’s clear
that consumers want a long term relationship with our content.”