The next round of AAM and BPA reports are due out soon. Come on, you know where I’m going with this opening paragraph. The numbers will be released. Then the writers for Folio and Media Bistro and all the others will jump in and recite the numbers and, no doubt, newsstand will not look good. Someone will publish something that gives us all a stern warning.
Someone will ask, “Where’s the bottom for newsstand? ”
People will get defensive.
An industry thought leader will write, “How can they maintain these losses? Surely no one is going to the newsstand anymore!”
So I am thinking, maybe we should rephrase the question. Because, frankly, at this point, who knows?
So let’s not ask, “Where is the bottom?” and instead ask:
“What is working?”
“Why is it working?”
“How do we replicate that?”
“How do we engage our publications’ audience and encourage them to buy a single copy?”
We know single copy sales are a declining industry. But even within that decline, there are sparks of light. Why is that? Was it luck? Deliberate?
There are publishers who are innovating and seeking out new markets. Some are in non-traditional markets, others within the tried and true. Who are they and what are they doing? Is it niche specific? Title specific?
Can we turn this around?
I think it’s highly unlikely that we will see some sort of massive turnaround. As a business, we shouldn’t be looking for or hoping for the next TV Guide, Cosmopolitan, or People. Instead we should be looking for the next Backwoodsman or grow an emerging category like adult coloring books.
Keep in mind, our industry has adapted to and accepted many changes that some traditionalists thought would never change. So the next challenge is to adapt to the new realities we face (and share) at retail, the same ones that other marketers are facing, and see how we can continue to attract an audience.
So my question to you is:
What’s working out there? How did you do it and can you do it again?