Scotland's independent arts and entertainment magazine The List has dropped below 10,000 sales for the first time.

The arts and music listings title, which is published every fortnight, dropped to only 9686 actively purchased sales in this week's consumer magazine ABC figures.

Over 2006, the magazine sold an average of 10552 every fortnight. Dropping below the 10,000 mark will be seen as a symbolic blow for the magazine that, up until 2003, had enjoyed uninterrupted sales growth.

Claire Prentice, formerly of the Sunday Times Scotland, became The List's 12th editor last year, and has been trying to carve out a new niche for the magazine in the face of rising internet and freesheet competition.

The List's publisher, Robin Harper, told the Sunday Herald that some readers had migrated to the magazine's website, which he said was enjoying unprecedented growth, claiming 250,000 readers used The List's website every month.

Harper said the magazine still had at least 50,000 readers, adding that most people who bought The List kept their copy around for others to read. "Dropping below the 10,000 mark is not significant for us." he insisted. "We still have a large and loyal readership who want to go out regularly. The magazine is great and we have got a great new editor doing wonderful things."

He admitted the market was changing rapidly, but said The List's online presence would ensure the title's survival. "We don't think print is dead, there is a place for it, but now there are other outlets too."

David Hutchison, a research fellow in media policy at Glasgow Caledonian University, said sales of The List, which has a cover price of £2.20, had been affected by the freesheet Metro's listings.

"The List had carved out a niche but it must have been hit hard by Metro, which is very strong on arts and music listings."

Other Scottish magazines fared better in the week's magazine ABCs, figures that are only released every six months. Teenage magazine Shout grew from 84,007 actively purchased sales to 86,618.

The Big Issue in Scotland magazine also posted growth, increasing from 27,756 sales per week to 31,401 copies.