Consult this handy guide to learn common distribution terms
ABC is an acronym for the Audit Bureau of Circulation, a US-based circulation audit service with offices in Toronto. Circulation audits are used to verify circulation claims to advertisers.
Allotment refers to the total number of copies of a single issue scheduled for shipping to a wholesaler or distribution service (e.g. Magazines Canada). Not to be confused with draw (see below).
Authorization refers to your title being approved by a specific retailer for sale within some or all of its locations.
Circulation refers to your total net paid subscriptions AND single copy sales and/or requests.
Direct Distribution refers to the system of parcel-shipping specific numbers of magazine copies to individual stores. This is an attractive alternative to the wholesaler mass-market system, and it can offer retailers larger discounts off the cover price. Magazines Canada is both a direct and mass-market distributor. Depending on your account, your title may be distributed by either or both of these systems.
Draw refers to the number of copies of each issue of your title that is distributed to specific retailers and/or wholesalers. Draw is generally determined by sales history of your title or similar titles in that market, and is a flexible number that will generally increase with improved sales.
Fulfilment refers to the publisher's duty in creating and maintaining an active subscriber list (including producing all the necessary stats and reports for auditing and marketing). Fulfilment can be achieved in-house with the help of speciality software, or through an outside fulfilment house (e.g. INDAS).
Full-Cover Display refers to the most sought after position within a retail mainline display rack—at the front where the entire cover of the magazine is visible.
Mainline is the display rack in retail outlets containing an assortment of titles and generally not positioned at the front of the store. Mainline display is considered to be of secondary value to checkout display.
On-Sale Date refers to the date that an issue of your title is scheduled to hit the shelves in retail outlets.
Off-Sale Date refers to the date that an issue of your title is scheduled to be removed from the shelves (to avoid stale-dating).
Per-Pocket Fees refers to the extra fee paid to retailers to gain checkout display space, on a per-issue basis.
Point-of-Sale refers to publisher, wholesaler or retailer in-store marketing activity.
Prematures is the term applied to copies returned by the retailer before the off-sale date.
Returns refers to single copies that are distributed to retailers but not sold. Unsold copies are returned to the distributor and are generally destroyed once processed for credit. Return figures appear on your regular statement from the distributor.
Sell-Through refers to the percentage of newsstand copies that were actually sold and did not come back as returns. Sometimes called efficiency. The average sell-through rate for Canadian magazines is between 35-38%. Current Magazines Canada distribution sell-through is around 50%.
Withholds are shipped single copies that never reach the newsstand racks. Withholds occur when retailers believe they are being shipped too many copies of a given title. They adversely affect sell-through rates.
Source: Years of industry experience and Folio Magazine
Last Update: Wednesday, November 19, 2008