Recently folded Soap Opera Weekly’s total circulation fell nearly 50 percent in the past four years to 107,817, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. A rep for AMI stated they didn't see "long term growth" in the "soap opera market."
Soap Opera Digest continues to publish, but its circulation tumbled 40 percent to 292,219 in the second half of 2011 while ad pages declined 9 percent to 732 in 2011, per the Publishers Information Bureau.
Soap Opera Weekly subscriptions will be fulfilled by Soap Opera Digest and the handful of staffers who worked at for the defunct title are now being used as freelancers at American Media.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation’s 2011 second half numbers paint a grim picture of the Weekly. Paid subscriptions dropped 36 percent from last half 2010, falling from 80,266 to 51,185. While sister publication Soap Opera Digest fared a bit better in the last six months of 2011, subs were still down 28 percent at 217,517 paid subscriptions.
Bauer Publishing's Soaps in Depth discontinued one of its three versions many years ago. ABC Soaps in Depth and CBS Soaps in Depth continue to publish, but their circulations have declined, too. (They publish every other week and have a combined circulation of about 200,000.)
“There’s been a decline, bu they’re still profitable,” said Ian Scott, president of Bauer Advertising Sales. “The high price tag [of $3.99] enables us to continue to publish them.”
These circulation numbers are now far below the traffic numbers of many of the popular online soap opera websites.
With a focus on today and what is happening in the future of the serial space, We Love Soaps has deemed 2012 as "The Year of the Soap" with more primetime television soap operas being produced than ever before, the most soap opera merchandise available in history, and an onslaught of new and innovative indie soaps. The future of serialized storytelling is brighter than ever. Sadly, AMI has not received that message.
We pulled some additional data from the PIB below:
|NEW YORK MAGAZINE||203,571,662||188,233,604||8.1||2,607.95||2,473.01||5.5|
|SOAP OPERA DIGEST||17,475,535||18,555,851||-5.8||731.86||800.24||-8.5|
|SUNDAY MAG TOTALS||1,645,349,193||1,772,325,811||-7.2||4,517.47||4,769.90||-5.3|
|*Data as of January 6th, 2012|
- WBshop.com Celebrates "The Year of The Soap" With DVD/Bu-ray Sale!
- Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series DVD (All 1,225 Episodes) On Sale Now
- Why 2012 Will Be "The Year Of The Soap" (Part 1)
- Why 2012 Will Be "The Year Of The Soap" (Part 2): DARK SHADOWS, RAGGED ISLE, DALLAS, Univision Telenovelas and More
- Why 2012 Will Be "The Year Of The Soap" (Part 3): Promising Fall Pilots