Magazine (Wholesaler) Death Watch

I know I was all ‘keep your sunnyside up’ in that magazine-related post last night, but there’s some breaking news being reported by Foliomag.com that will be music to “The End is Near” crowd.

While I know only a little about consumer magazine distribution (the magazines we publish are distributed via the USPS and place-based channels), the news that consumer magazine wholesalers accounting for 50% of newsstand distribution are ceasing operations is a big (and not good) deal.

Quote from Foliomag.com:

Two weeks after threatening publishers with separate 7-cents-per-copy price hikes, a pair of major magazine wholesalers, Anderson News and Source Interlink, have decided to cease operations, according to a source at Comag. When contacted by FOLIO:, a Source Interlink spokesperson declined to comment “on rumors.” Anderson could not be reached for comment.

(I’ll add to this post later with links to coverage.)

  • This is the one segment of the consumer mag supply chain that will at some point fall of it’s own weight. Perhaps back in the day, before the internet ruined everything, printing 10 copies and throwing out 7 of them could be considered sustainable, but in this day and age it’s just down right insane.

  • Fred Flintstone

    This supply chain generates $5 billion in annual retail sales with modest year over year gains. Returns are onerous, but manageable. Should see significant improvement with recent changes in the channel. Unlike the newspaper industry, consumer mags don’t use their web sites as pure content mediums. Publishers uses them as interactive marketing tools to improve brand awareness and capture consumer preferences. This supply chain delivers a material portion of each magazines audience and a critical portion of their annual profits.

    P.S. The FOLIO quote is inaccurate. They should make a better effort to verify sources and check facts.