Magazine distributors review in 2012

I was asked how do I compare by result different magazine distributors in 2012.

The first point is that the magazine distributor does not see it the same as a newsagent. What a magazine distributor wants to see is that you have sold as many as possible. If they gave you two, and you sold two, then they are worried that perhaps if they gave you three, you could have sold another one. What they want to see is that you return one of each magazine issued. In theory, if you look at the levels, you are supplied that works out to an oversupply of about 35%.

In reality, these guys wear two hats, say they calculate they need 20,000 copies and in the warehouse they have 15,000. Someone has to be cutbacks. If alternately in the warehouse they have 25,000 copies, well they need to move them out of the warehouse which means to you. This is why the actual oversupply is close to 100%.

There is little that can be done about this, in the short term.

The main tool we use to compare the magazine distributors is the sell through rate. Overall out of so many magazines sent, what in percentage do you return.

Although the figures I have now for 2012 are only tentative, they do look similar to 2011, which was like to 2010. So I am not expecting any change this year.

Furthermore, what I can tell you looking at the figures, the two main suppliers are almost exactly the equivalent in their sell through rates. In sense this is not surprising as they are both using the similar methods in the same market they are not doing much innovative stuff from what I can see to get better.