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New York Magazine Cuts Rate Base, Ups Sub Price

new york.pngIn an effort to increase revenue and reduce production and distribution costs, New York magazine said yesterday that it will be cutting its rate base by 6 percent while raising subscription price by 25 percent.

“We believe that our magazine is valuable and worth paying for, and history has shown that our readers feel the same way,” said publisher Larry Burstein. “By reducing our circulation slightly and lowering our newsstand draw, we’ll be able to better target our magazine to the readers who will be most engaged with the product.”

The introductory subscription price for New York will increase from $19.97 to $24.97, a change that will be phased in during the second half of this year. Current subscribers will also feel an increase, since renewals are typically more expensive than introductory subs. Rates for renewing subscribers will now top out at $59.97 per year, the magazine said.

Additionally, New York will be decreasing its circulation by cutting its rate base from 425,000 to 400,000. These cuts will include reducing the number of free copies delivered to waiting rooms around the city, as well as limiting the number of copies sent to underperforming newsstands.

Full release after the jump


NEW YORK MAGAZINE RAISES SUBSCRIPTION PRICE 25%, REDUCES RATE BASE BY 6%

New York, NY, May 21, 2009 — New York magazine announced today that it will increase its introductory subscription price 25%, from $19.97 to $24.97. At the same time, the magazine will reduce its circulation and bring its rate base to 400,000 from 425,000 copies per week.

The increased introductory subscription price will be phased in during the second half of 2009. The upcoming price increase, coming on the heels of additional price changes in recent years, means the introductory subscription price for New York magazine will have increased 56% since 2005. As is customary in magazine publishing, the rates paid by renewing subscribers will continue to increase each year, topping out at $59.97 per year.

The goals of these circulation adjustments are to increase revenue and reduce the production and distribution costs associated with copies of the magazine that are not currently reaching the company’s core, paying audience. Effective with the July 13, 2009 issue, (on stands July 6th,) New York will cut its “public place” (i.e. waiting room) circulation by 33% to 42,000 copies per week. This move will allow New York to continue to provide magazines to a handpicked list of highly-trafficked salons and doctors’ offices, where each copy is read by upward of four people, but will eliminate delivery to some smaller waiting rooms.

In addition, New York magazine will continue to reduce the “draw” (number of copies) it sends to underperforming newsstands, a process that began in January 2009. The goal of this reduction is to increase efficiency at newsstands by reducing the number of “extra” magazine copies produced to prevent newsstand sell-outs.

“Like every responsible company in this day and age, New York magazine is working hard to reduce costs and increase revenues,” said publisher Larry Burstein. “We believe that our magazine is valuable and worth paying for, and history has shown that our readers feel the same way. By reducing our circulation slightly and lowering our newsstand draw, we’ll be able to better target our magazine to the readers who will be most engaged with the product.”

New York has dramatically improved its circulation in recent years. Since 2005, the 41-year old weekly magazine has:

- Increased the number of paid subscriptions while reducing “public place” circulation; paid subscriptions were up 13% in 2008 over 2005, from 319,978 to 361,595. And “public place” copies of the magazine came down 45% over the same period;
- Successfully increased newsstand prices: In 2007, a 20% cover price increase went into effect. Newsstand sales remained steady following this increase, with 2008 single copy sales up 1.6% over 2007.
- Decreased the median age of its reader from 48 to 44 through a combination of innovative circulation and event strategies and award-winning editorial content that appeals to a broad range of readers.

New York has also made enormous strides with its digital properties. The audience for New York’s National Magazine Award-winning website nymag.com has exploded in the past four years, from a monthly average of 1.9 million unique visitors in 2005, to 5.6 million in 2009.

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