As a large group of publishers here in Japan prepare to coordinate an online presence (as I posted a couple of days ago) to mitigate against declining sales, one type of magazine is selling well. According to the Japan Today website (reporting a Kyodo News article), certain magazines offering free gifts are doing well - with Sweet magazine, for example, doubling the print run compared to this time last year.
In the UK a few years back, give-away DVDs and CDs helped keep newspaper sales up. But here in Japan, with this successful giveaway, it's not just small-sized items attached or folded within a paper - it's branded goods such as bags and pouches. In some senses, this almost reverses the "priority" and gives away a magazine with a product (when it was a DVD or CD, even if you didn't read the newspaper, it was a paper with a DVD or CD attached, though with the likes of a Prince new-release CD it certainly didn't seem so) even if it's the magazine business which is giving away the goods.
It's one way forward to mainatain a publication, print, journalist and designer business. Not the only way yet (a researcher points out that not just goods, but specific themed magazines can sell well). A curiosity with, in one case, a million-copy print run.