Peeling back the layers on the decision to chop Time magazine’s circulation next year — to 2 million from 3 million — reveals the title has been giving away more than 900,000 copies either for free or with heavily discounted subscriptions, reports the New York Post, which added that “it was still failing to deliver the 3 million copies per issue on most issues.

“The title that once proudly hauled in $100 million a year in profits was said to be marginally profitable, at best, these days.

“Also, Time Inc. was sending 183,648 copies of Time each week for free to places like doctor’s offices, health care providers or hair salons.

“Another 49,951 were classified as “non-analyzed, non-paid” — which pushed the number of purely free magazines to 233,599. Some 39,323 copies of each issue were essentially “dead” subscribers — people who let their subscriptions lapse but were still getting the magazine without paying.

“Also counted as “paid” were another 7,955 who ordered the magazine, but had not sent in payment to the publisher.

“Others were deeply discounted including 365,554 that were counted as paid subscribers derived from the redemption of credit card award points. There were also another 304,967 whose “paid” subscription was included as part of another product or service that a consumer paid for.

“All told, when the free copies were coupled with the discounted and promotional copies, the number reached a staggering 945,238 copies per issue.”

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