Postal Overview

Magazine publishers rely heavily on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to support subscription delivery and to attract new subscribers. As such, MPA - whose members send almost 90 percent of their magazines to readers via the USPS - has a long standing interest in maintaining an affordable and reliable postal system that can effectively provide universal service throughout the U.S. for the foreseeable future. To ensure postal rates can be maintained at affordable levels in the future, MPA is actively engaged in supporting Postal Service and publisher efforts to increase postal efficiency and encourage the growth of comailing and other cost-saving measures, while maintaining good service performance. MPA also is actively involved with  all Congressional efforts on postal reform legislation, and works closely with lawmakers and their staff as the voice of magazine mailers. 

The PRC’s 10-Year Postal Rate Review: What You Need to Know About the Future of the US Postal Service

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) is an independent federal agency that provides regulatory oversight over the USPS and is responsible for establishing and maintaining a modern system of postage rate regulation. Most recently, MPA’s efforts have focused on the PRC’s legislatively mandated ten year review of postal pricing for market-dominant classes and products, including Periodicals. In December 2017, in initiating its review, the PRC shocked the $1.4 trillion mailing industry by proposing to raise postage rates by up to 40% over five years (following official enactment) on many types of mail including magazines, newspapers, and charities. MPA is actively participating in the review and strongly opposes the proposal. The review is expected to continue through the coming months.

MPA – The Association of Magazine Media has produced an easy to read magazine to explain the PRC’s proposal and the unintended consequences it would trigger.  In addition to hurting magazines, newspapers, charities and all their beneficiaries, it would ultimately hurt everyone that uses or cares about the Postal Service, including the Postal Service itself.

You can view the magazine here or download the PDF here .

Why it Matters to MPA and Our Members:
  • As mandated by Federal law, the US Postal Service enjoys monopoly access to the mailbox - meaning mailers and private sector delivery services (which might offer competitive pricing) cannot deliver products directly to customer mailboxes. Mailers therefore have extremely limited alternative delivery options outside of the Postal Service and are held captive to USPS pricing.
  • Despite the successful efforts magazine publishers have taken to cut internal operational costs in all other categories, postage costs continue to grow.
  • Nearly 90% of all magazines are delivered through the US Postal Service. Because magazine publishers deliver nearly 3 billion magazines a year to paid subscribers through the Postal Service, any increase in postage rates will impose a drastic and unaffordable postage expense increase for magazine publishers. 

MPA DC Staff Contacts: 
Brigitte Schmidt Gwyn: [email protected]
Rita Cohen: [email protected]