MPA: One-Quarter of Magazine Subscriptions Sold Online

Nearly one-quarter of all new magazine subscriptions sold last year were generated from the Web, a survey conducted by the Magazine Publishers of America finds.

The survey, conducted among member magazines in spring 2010 and examining actual sales from 2009 and forecasted sales for 2010, concludes Internet-sourced subscriptions will make up 24 percent of all new subscription sales in 2010. Twenty-two percent of all new subscriptions were web-generated in 2009, the survey reports, up from 21 percent in 2008, 17 percent in 2007 and 13 percent in 2006.

“Magazine publishers are being smart about leveraging online marketing opportunities to expand their audience, grow readership and increase subscription revenues,” said Nina Link, president and CEO of the Magazine Publishers of America. “Internet sub sales have almost doubled in the last three years. The Web is now the largest subscription source for one in five magazines.”

The MPA received responses from 14 companies reflecting the experience of 62 titles. Predictions for 2010 are based on actual reported results for the first four months of this year.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • The Internet represented 12 percent of total subscription sales (new and renewal) in 2009 and should represent 13 percent of gross orders this year.
  • Magazine-branded websites are the leading source of Internet subscriptions, representing 43 percent of sales. That number is expected to increase to 47 percent this year.
  • E-mail subscriptions from internal and external lists generate 16 percent of new Internet orders. Other leading Internet sources include cross-selling and upselling (9 percent), and third-party sites and affiliates (19 percent).
  • The leading subscription agents are and

For complete survey results, visit

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