Most publishing people are probably aware, by this point, of the grand circus that is magazine distributing these days. Since Anderson News Co. and Source Interlink attempted to charge publishers an additional 7 cent surcharge per copy, there has been a lot of speculation, with Time Inc. going so far as to begin to set up a new network of wholesalers to handle distribution of it’s magazines.
Source then sued Time Inc. and other publishing and distribution companies, alleging the companies are trying to drive it out of business. Now according to Media Week, it appears that Source has signed a new multi-year agreement with Time Inc. that does not include the per copy surcharge. The article does not say if the contract includes some other charge or a charge that is not per-copy based.
The trouble here is with the current business plan for these distributors. They are in a seriously comprimised position – they need to be able to provide their customers with content, and need to receive that content from publishers. Without some serious negotiations, one way or another, these companies are in trouble.