Time Inc. has taken a hard line with two magazine distributors who are asking for an additional seven cents an issue to distribute magazines: Time said “No dice” to the price increase, and they’re going to find another way to get on retailer shelves
The No. 1 U.S. magazine chain, with 24 consumer titles, was the first publisher to stand up to Source Interlink Distribution and Anderson News Co. Those wholesalers, which represent an estimated 50 percent of the nation’s retail magazine sales, recently demanded that publishers pay 7 cents per copy on top of existing financial arrangements by Feb. 1 to deliver their product.
The wholesalers said they needed the money to stay in business. It’s estimated that the fees would add more than $100 million in costs to a magazine industry already battered by significant drops in ad revenue and single-copy sales.
At stake in the standoff are publishers’ newsstand sales in retailer juggernauts like Wal-Mart and Kroger. A Time Inc. rep said that it would use other, unnamed wholesalers to deliver next week’s copies of its weeklies, including Time magazine and People.
To be continued.