Magazine publishers both big and small can utilize distribution services to deliver premium content to subscribers, sell more subscriptions and issues, and reach new audiences.
The world is hungry for great content, and publishers have tons of options for distributing their print and digital editions.
In this guide, we showcase our master list of the very best magazine distributors.
We’ve separated our list of service providers into 4 different categories to help you choose the right options:
- Digital magazine distribution services
- Print magazine distribution services
- Distribution networks
- Subscription resellers
Digital magazine distribution services
The demand for digital magazines is growing. You can satisfy international readers, younger generations who want to go paper-free, and digital-first readers who love having access to all their favorite magazines on their phones or tablets.
Choose one of these distributors to help you generate a digital edition, deliver it to your subscribers, and sell more digital subscriptions.
eMagazines is an interactive magazine software that provides beautiful, on-brand digital editions of your print magazine. eMagazines is behind the digital editions of multiple magazine brands from Hearst, Condé Nast, and Meredith. We provide the software, services, and customer support you need to create and distribute your digital editions. We deliver digital editions to subscribers via email, so there are no passwords or downloads required. Plus, we build custom apps and deliver the right content to the right users.
We also offer subscription order pages as well as partnerships with distribution networks and subscription resellers to help you acquire new customers.
Mag+ is a digital magazine publishing software that turns your PDF into a digital magazine. As for distribution, the company builds custom apps for magazine publishers and then uploads your digital editions to your app.
With Publuu, you can create interactive online flipbooks and then distribute them via your mobile application or online newsstand. You can sell individual issues or subscriptions. The platform is a fit for not only magazine publishers but also product catalogs and corporate communications as well.
Print magazine distribution services
To distribute their print editions to retail locations, most magazine publishers utilize distribution services that have direct relationships with large grocery stores and retail chains as well as small mom-and-pop shops and bodegas.
You can reach out to distributors with details about your magazine’s content and readership in the hopes that will distribute it to their networks of brick-and-mortar locations.
These are some of the most popular print magazine distributors in Northern America:
Disticor distributes over 4,000 magazine titles throughout the United States and Canada. The company offers targeted distribution programs as well as magazine promotion campaigns and testing to amplify sales. In the United States, the company services over 125,000 retailers, while in Canada, their network amounts to over 2,000 retailers.
With the Disticor Data Centre, publishers get 24/7 access to their wholesale and retail sales information. You can use the dashboard to analyze and project your sales.
Wheelhouse offers access to over 2,500 retail locations in the United States. They currently work with over 50 publishers, offering more than 300 titles. Wheelhouse promises access to high-frequency, impulse purchases at retail front-ends.
The company distributes magazine content related to farming, gardening, homesteading, camping, fishing, hunting, and ranching. Their retail partners include Tractor Supply Co, Rural King, Farm & Home Supply, Big R, and Wilco.
TNG distributes over 3,000 magazine titles, allowing retailers to choose the titles their unique audience is most likely to purchase. This is good news for small and medium publishers offering niche content.
Publishers can use TNG for logistics, warehousing, distribution, merchandising, and display manufacturing to get their titles directly to the stores where their target audience ships.
The company works exclusively in Canada, offering US publishers a chance to reach more Canadian readers, and ultimately boost subscriptions as a result.
By partnering with distribution networks you can access new channels for customer acquisition. These types of networks can distribute your digital magazine content to libraries, universities, schools, airports, hotels, airlines, and many other locations where your target audience hangs out.
Hoopla specializes in distributing digital magazine content to libraries around the world. Through their services, you can reach over 7.5 million library cardholders. The company has pioneered its own per-circulation transaction model, meaning that libraries pay a fee whenever one of your titles is lent to a patron. Patrons can choose from your entire back catalog, allowing them to explore any topic they wish.
The content provider platform offers reporting into real-time circulations and revenue so you can monitor performance regularly.
Not only can you generate revenue directly from Hoopla, but you can also reach new consumer audiences, who might end up subscribing to your magazine or purchasing print editions at retailers in the future.
8. Magazine Jukebox
With Magazine Jukebox, businesses can offer digital magazines in their waiting rooms by selecting up to 12 magazine titles at a time. Customers can scan a QR code to access the titles. This is offered at little to no cost to the business, and no cost to the customers.
The benefit for magazine publishers is accessing new audiences, with the chance to sell your subscription. Users get to engage with your magazine for 36 hours after they leave the business location where they first scanned the QR code. After a user’s free session is over, the Magazine Jukebox platform offers the reader the option to subscribe directly to your digital magazine. Ultimately, you’ve got a new nation-wide revenue channel, with no sunk costs or risks.
9. Apple News
Apple News offers beautifully formatted for Apple users who love to read content on their iPhones or iPads. News publishers can format individual articles for inclusion in Apple News and will keep 100% of the revenue from the ads they sell within Apple News. While this doesn’t directly sell magazine subscriptions, it can help increase online awareness and readership (leading to sales).
As part of Apple’s News Partner Program, “Publishers that work with Apple News may qualify for a commission rate of 15% on qualifying in-app purchase subscriptions from day one.” This offer is only available for news publishers selling their own app whose “primary function is to deliver original, professionally-authored news content.”
10. Apple News Plus
With Apple News Plus, readers get access to the premium content of hundreds of magazines and newspapers for just $9.99 per month.
By joining Apple News Plus as a publisher, you can generate brand awareness, new readers, and increased revenue by being included in Apple News Plus. Apple News Plus doesn’t offer an online application and is only intended for household-name titles, so being accepted will likely require direct relationships.
Subscription resellers are an important part of any magazine distribution strategy. These ecommerce websites tend to dominate search results for magazine titles, meaning they may garner more traffic than your own site. Plus, customers use these sites because they like checking for the best deals and being able to purchase multiple magazine subscriptions at the same time.
Keep in mind that these websites are more for customer acquisition, and you’ll still need print and digital distribution services to get your content into readers’ hands.
Magazines.com is the most popular website for purchasing magazine subscriptions at a discount. All of the most popular titles in the world are on offer, including People, Good Housekeeping, Sports Illustrated, Real Simple, and hundreds more.
Most major titles are already being sold via Magazines.com, but some smaller publishers might not yet have taken advantage of this resource for customer acquisition. It can be an important revenue stream for niche or hobby publications, so definitely consider getting in touch with their team. Here at eMagazines, we have a direct relationship with Magazines.com and can broker a partnership on your behalf.
12. Subscribe Renew
Subscribe Renew is another popular site for purchasing magazine subscriptions. The site is operated by Magazine Circle, a distribution service that can not only get your magazine sold on Subscribe Renew, but also distributed to gyms, medical offices, and universities. The company can also handle magazine subscription fulfillment end-to-end.
Your magazine distribution strategy should include ways to reach new readers and improve the reader experience for your current base.