February 6, 2014 Last Updated 1:37 pm

AAM snapshot report shows consumer magazine circulations reporting small declines

Gun magazines record increases in paid circulation, while a few consumer titles report mixed results with their digital editions

The Alliance for Audited Media today released its semiannual Snapshot report for U.S. consumer magazines. Overall, paid and verified circulation declined 1.7 percent in the second half of 2013, with single copy sales falling 11.1 percent.

Most of the top 25 magazines (see chart below) saw only small decreases in paid circulation, with Reader’s Digest recording the biggest decline. It’s paid and verified circulation now stands at 4,288,529 versus a year ago when the Smapshot report showed its circulation at 5,527,183, a decrease of 22.4 percent.

AmRi-cover-featureOn the other hand, gun magazines boomed, with the NRA’s official magazine, American Rifleman, entering the top 25 titles. It’s circulation now stands at 2,238,735, a gain of almost 30 percent, reflecting higher NRA membership numbers. Guns & Ammo and Garden & Gun (which is really a lifestyle magazine) also grew circulation in the latest report.

All circulation reporting is subject to audit by the AAM.

Most magazines also were reporting somewhat larger numbers when it came to digital editions. But at least a couple magazines actually reported decreases in their digital replica circulation.

Hearst owned Cosmopolitan reported its total digital replica circulation at 236,006, down from 2012, yet print subscriptions increased. Overall, Cosmo’s circulation remained flat due to falling single copy sales.

Generally, though, digital circulation continues to grow. Wired, for instance, reported total digital replica circulation at 103,593, up 84,118 in digital subscriptions and single copy sales in the same reporting period a year ago. Overall, the total number of digital editions counted grew by almost 37 percent, both due to gains in sales, as well as in the number of magazines now counting digital editions.