US magazines on Apple News+ see surging circulations

Apple News+ adds 1.25m to US magazine circulations: Full breakdown

Apple News+ subscriber numbers

Several US magazines have doubled their reach on Apple News+ this year, new figures obtained by Press Gazette show.

Weekly showbiz magazine People recorded an average AN+ circulation of 165,000 in the first half of 2021 – up 148% from the second half of 2020 – making it the platform’s biggest title.

According to Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) figures, the top 25 most popular US magazine titles on AN+ had a total average circulation of 1.25m in the first six months of the year.

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The average AN+ circulation across the top 25 was 50,000 in the first half of this year – up 86% from 27,000 in the last six months of 2020.

After People, the next biggest AN+ magazine titles were Vanity Fair (with an average circulation of 90,000, up 83%), Popular Mechanics (71,000, up 194%) and National Geographic (71,000, up 78%).

Scientific American recorded the largest increase, albeit from a low base in 2020. Its circulation leapt more than 700% from 4,000 to 32,000.

The other titles that more than doubled their AN+ circulations between the two periods were Men’s Health, In Style, Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, Women’s Health, Travel+Leisure and Prevention.

Launched in 2019, AN+ is a paid-for version of Apple’s news app, available in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.

Nearly 200 publications make their content available on AN+ and are paid by Apple according to their readership levels – issue opens and ‘dwell time’ – on the app. 

Apple has not reported any AN+ figures and the popularity of the platform remains something of a mystery.

The AAM’s figures are not enough to discern how many AN+ subscribers Apple has built up. But the top 25 ranking – which excludes newspapers and non-US magazines on the platform – does provide an insight into the scale of the product. It also suggests AN+ is growing fast.

AN+ figures are likely to have been boosted by the launch last October of Apple One, a subscription that bundles together several services. Apple’s ‘premier’ package includes access to Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, iCloud, Fitness+ and News+.

The AAM circulation figures reflect the average number of unique user opens per magazine issue. This means that the numbers do not show total readership because they directly compare weekly magazines, like People, with monthly titles, Vanity Fair, and bi-monthlies, Popular Mechanics.

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