U.S. magazine newsstand sales dropped almost 10% during the first six months of 2012, with all five top-selling single-copy publications seeing stark declines in sales, according to The Wall Street Journal.

People and Cosmopolitan suffered major setbacks, watching their newsstand sales numbers drop 18.6% and 15.5%, respectively, during the first half of the year.

Newsstand magazine sales are an important indicator of demand because single-copy sales generate more revenue than print or digital subscriptions, which often are sold at a discount, according to the Associated Press.

When looking at total paid circulation, the decline in sales was more modest, falling just 0.1% from the same period last year.

The report underscores the difficulty of generating consistent revenue in a media industry where print publications are folding and digital properties are finding difficulty monetizing their content. Digital ad revenue growth has stalled for many media properties as the average cost-per-click continues to plummet.

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