Our friends at Ammoland are highlighting something (their story reprinted below) that people in the online world have known for, well, a decade now. The dead tree gun mags may not be dying (yet), but they’re not looking too good. The paleo types at ADWEEK are all aflutter over the one segment of the magazine biz that showed positive numbers this year – firearms. News flash: the NRA’s two freebie mags’ circulation increased by…14% and 8%! Woohoo! Given their membership increase of almost 25% after Newtown, shouldn’t that have been higher? What about the books people have to actually pay for? Well, InterMedia Outdoors properties Handguns (138K circ.) and the big boy, Guns & Ammo (416K circ.), leaped – leaped, I tell you! – 16% and 7% respectively. Yawn. To put that in perspective . . .
Like Ammoland, TTAG’s year-over-year increase in unique readers dwarfed those paltry numbers. Our uniques jumped from 3.8 million in the first half of 2012 to just under 6 million in the same period this year. That’s 56% for the numerically-challenged drones on Madison Avenue. So you’ll excuse us if we’re not particularly impressed by ADWEEK’s celebratory gunfire. We passed G&A’s monthly readership numbers back in the fall of 2011 – almost two years ago – and now get more eyeballs in six days than they do in a month. Just sayin’. Here’s Ammoland’s take:
Manasquan, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- Seems even stodgy old ADWEEK has a soft spot for gun magazines as their recent article “Gun Publications Are a Bright Spot for Print Magazine Circulation” suggests.
“It hasn’t been a particularly great year for print magazine circulation, but one category is shining as a beacon of hope for the American publishing industry: GUNS.” says writer Emma Bazilian
Print magazines in general have been hit hard by the transition to a life in a digital world, that compounded by a weak economy, has driven magazine sales in to the dumpster.
“The all-important fashion magazines and celebrity weeklies were especially hard hit. Glamour, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Lucky, InStyle, Elle, Vogue, Bazaar and Teen Vogue all saw single-copy sales drop by double digits. Among celeb weeklies, Life & Style had the biggest decline (about 21 percent). Even Time Inc. powerhouse People fell by nearly 12 percent in single-copy sales.”
But firearms related magazines remain strong as Americans voted against gun control and the president with their wallets, buying up every gun they can and wiping the shelves bare of every last speck of ammo, the enormous increase in new gun owners has propped up the print gun magazine business as folks look for more info on their new sidearm or long gun.
“American Rifleman and America’s 1st Freedom, both of which are benefits of NRA membership, [every new NRA member gets to choose a free copy of one of several NRA magazines, American Rifleman being the most popular] saw their circulations increase 14 percent to 1.9 million and 8 percent to 545,019, respectively, in the first half of the year versus the year-ago period.”
Once again we see the positive effect of having more NRA members by keeping the tradition of print media alive, but the highlights and big growth are still in the digital print world.
“On the digital side, circulation nearly doubled in the past year from 5.4 million to 10.2 million copies but still made up a tiny portion—just 3.3 percent—of overall circ. The top three biggest digital titles were Game Informer Magazine (about 2.97 million digital copies in circulation), Reader’s Digest (292,285 copies) and Cosmopolitan (246,815 copies).”
What ADWEEK is talking about here is Digital Magazines, the digital representations of flip page magazines and a narrow slice of the online publishing.
The real growth in publication is online news sites like AmmoLand Shooting Sports News which has seen a 96.20% increase in Unique Visits, 4,122,462 vs 2,101,141 in the first half of the year versus the year-ago period.
Gun Media Circulation Comparison January to June 2013: Data compares published circulation numbers to unique visits with in same data range.
The speed, agility and constant publishing of new content by specialty online newswires or newsletters , such as AmmoLand, make for loyal readership as well as the go-to media outlet for industry insiders looking for timely, up to date, news and information.
Once dismissed as fads, increased gun ownership & non traditional digital news publications, continue to confound the experts and reward knowledgeable advertisers while leaving the old guard of print media in the dust.
Ammoland’s story is reprinted here with permission.