February 25, 2015 Last Updated 1:24 pm

Meredith’s Allrecipes shows solid growth in latest reports, Bonnier Tech group reports mixed results

Popular Science updates its Apple Newsstand app as the magazine moves over to the Adobe DPS platform, offering readers who sign up for a digital subscription a free 30-day trial

The latest magazine publisher’s statements are coming in, and so far it is very much a mixed bag for digital circulation – with at least one recently launched magazine doing very well, indeed.

Allrecipes-cover-300Meredith’s Allrecipes, launched late in 2013, recently announced that it would be raising its rate base to 1.1 million – it launched with a rate base of 500,000.

It’s publisher’s statements, as you would expect, lag far behind. It’s first statement showed that it had already raised its rate base to 600,000 and it reported around 3.4 percent of its circulation as digital. It’s new publisher’s statement shows it blowing away a rate base of 650,000 and reporting 765,001 paid print subscribers and 25,881 digital subscribers. It was also able to report 21,046 digital single copy buyers, the vast majority of which are coming in from Next Issue Media’s all-you-can-read magazine service. This almost triple the amount they were reporting in their first statement.

Bonnier’s Tech Group shows that Popular Photography and Popular Science have lost some digital subscribers over the past year, while American Photography grew their total digital readership.

One year ago American Photography reported around 9.4 percent of its readership was digital, now it is up to 14.3 percent. Total readership fell a bit, though it remains over its rate base of 100,000. Specifically, paid print subscriptions are now at 80,043 versus 97,772 a year ago, with single copy sales also falling from 4,111 to 2,600 in the latest report.

PopSci-newcoverPopular Science was able to report total digital readership up in its latest report, thanks to a big gain in single copy digital sales. Paid digital subscriptions fell 17K to around 5.3 percent of total circulation, but single copy sales are reported at 39,394 (it looks like it was the result of a partnership deal that bundled the magazine with an offer).

Popular Photography’s digital circulation fell from 54,562, or 15.5 percent a year agp to 51,718 in its latest statement, still representing 14.4 percent of total circulation (anything over 10 percent is what I would consider very good).

Bonnier made some rather big news last year when word leaked that their U.S. magazines would go off the Mag+ platform, which they developed, and start using the Adobe DPS. Popular Science, which led the tech group in launching digital editions, and whose executive team now runs Mag+, just last week updated its app and many readers took to iTunes to complain that the new app was now offering them a PDF replica. Actually what happened was that the publisher needed to make sure all those old issues would once again be available in the new app. So older issues were brought into the new app as replicas – while the newest issue, March 2015, is most definitely a native digital edition.

To lure readers to try the new app and drive new digital subscriptions, PopSci is very visibly promoting that the reader will get a free 30-day trial if they sign up for a digital subscription.

What does this tell us about digital circulation levels? We’ll have to wait a week or two more as more of the major titles submit their numbers. (Some of Time Inc’s titles are in and look encouraging.)

The good news, so far, is that while digital paid subscriptions are often coming in lower, they are not crashing in most cases. The Apple Newsstand is certainly hurting recurring sales, and neither Google nor Amazon appear to be driving much business for publishers, but some publishers are starting report rising numbers from Next Issue Media. Sales from subscriptions services such as NIM are reported as single copy sales, as the reader can read what they want, when they want it. But at least the numbers appear to be growing – or put another way, moving in the opposite direction of those coming from the big platform owner’s digital newsstands.

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