What's alarming about the numbers now is the downward trend is also being reflected in online readership, long thought to be the saving grace for magazines.
Erik Sass, writing in Publishers Daily, explains that declines in print readership had often been balanced out by increases in digital readership. But generally, he says, digital editions are a very small part of total magazine readership. And in some cases lately, digital audiences have also declined.
Measurement doesn't take into consideration readership picked up from websites, so the numbers may be a little less bleak than they appear.
At the same time, perhaps reflecting this trend, fewer publishers have taken the plunge with new titles. So far this year, 113 new titles have been launched, which is down by 41 percent from last year’s 190 new titles. The most popular categories for the new titles were food and lifestyle, followed by automotive, parenting, home and travel.
In the B-to-B category, 13 new titles launched, down from 47 launches in 2014.
Despite closures of some major titles like Details, Fitness and Lucky, fewer magazines shut down this year versus the year before – 35 in 2015, compared to 99 last year. That’s a 65 percent drop.
Seven B-to-B magazines closed up shop this year, versus 27 in 2014.
Mixed news, but at least it’s not all bad for publishers.