Mag ABCs: Economist, Spectator and Prospect boosted by double-counting of bundle subscribers

Current affairs magazines continued to boom in the first half of 2017 – albeit helped by double-counting for certain titles.

Private Eye remains top of the table with an average of 249,927 sales a fortnight, up 8.6 per cent year on year and a whisker below its all-time record set in the second half of 2016.

The Economist is in second place with 248,106 copies a week, and ahead if you are just counting UK and Ireland. However its figures are flattered by the fact that 60,486 of its subscribers are counted twice.

This is because of a quirk in the ABC rules which means that those subscribing to a print and digital bundle count twice provided that the combined circulation costs at least 20 per more than the top print-only price.

Similarly the Spectator has 16,392 bundle subscribers who count twice, in both the print and digital columns.

Prospect’s year-on-year growth of 37.2 per cent is largely accounted for by a huge increase in existing print subscribers upgrading to a print and digital bundle. Some 12,880 prospect subscribers are counted twice, as both digital and print readers because they subscribe to a bundle.

The Week Junior has launched with an impressive 45,895 sales per week.

Current affairs magazine sales figures for the first half of 2017: (Source ABC)

Product Total YoY% UK ROI Total UK ROI AP%
Private Eye 249,927 8.6 235,883 99.8
The Economist –  United Kingdom Edition 248,196 5 248,196 95.2
The Week 201,932 -1.1 193,257 76.7
The Spectator excluding Australia 85,429 11.3 76,602 89.3
Monocle 81,504 7 12,451 96.3
MoneyWeek 45,940 1.5 45,208 98.9
The Week Junior 45,895 44,528 81.5
The Oldie 45,296 -2.4 42,426 95.9
Prospect 44,545 37.2 38,639 76.9
The Spectator Australia 8,341 5.9



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2 thoughts on “Mag ABCs: Economist, Spectator and Prospect boosted by double-counting of bundle subscribers”

  1. Was this submitted without proofing? I assume ,though it’s not clear, that the first figure is for global sales. And there is a repetition of ‘certain’ in the first para and I have no idea what the 2nd para means with “Private Eye remains to of the table with an average of 249,927 sales a fortnight”.

    The Economist is moving away from bundles for new subscribers so this effect should be mitigated as subscribers are moved off this, so I believe.

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