Mag ABCs: Record sales make Economist top news title

The Economist overtook fortnightly satirical title Private Eye to become the top selling news and current affairs magazine in the UK in the second half of last year.

Figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations reveal that The Economist grew its sale by 11.1 per cent year on year to a record high of 210,204.

According to The Economist, its global circulation grew by 3.7 per cent over the same period to 1,473,939 copies a week. In the UK, the sale increase has largely been driven by a 17.9 per cent rise in subscriptions.

Yvonne Ossman, publisher of The Economist in the UK, said: "The Economist in the UK has very deliberately chosen to broaden its audience, moving beyond targeting its traditional business and finance audience to reaching out to the intellectually curious, people defined by their interest in different ideas and cultures.

"We have sought, through our communications, to challenge non-readers' misperceptions of the publication as dry and mostly about finance by highlighting the breadth and individuality of Economist editorial.

"For example, the ‘Where do you stand?' ad campaign which launched in June 2010 featured editorial on the case for legalising drugs, on giving prisoners the right to vote and on making it possible for people to buy and sell human organs.

'In addition, the launch of The Economist on iPhone and iPad has provided Economist readers with greater choice over how they read the newspaper. This flexibility further strengthens the overall package we offer our readers, and ultimately encourages greater loyalty."

Four years after launch we today had a first ABC circulation figure for stylish current affairs monthly Monocle of 63,007.


Of these just over 10,700 were on the UK newsstand while 2,000 were from UK subscriptions. Some 9,700 of Monocle's total came from bulk copies and 41,981 of its paid-for sale was overseas.

Elsewhere the news and current affairs sector looked robust.

Sales of Private Eye were fractionally down 1.5 per cent year on year, but Dennis-owned news digest title The Week put in another strong performance – up 6.4 per cent year on year.

Two titles at the very high-brow essay-based end of the market did particularly well.

Current affairs monthly Prospect rose 12.3 per cent year on year to 31,932 and fortnightly political and literary essay title The London Review of Books rose 9.6 per cent year on year to 53,215 sales.

Current affairs magazine circulations for the second half of 2010

(Title, average sale, percentage change year on year – source ABC)

  • The Economist – United Kingdom Edition ; 210,204 ; 11.1%
  • Private Eye ; 207,154 ; -1.5%
  • The Week ; 180,502 ; 6.4%
  • Time Magazine – British Isles (BI) ; 125,833 ; -3.4%
  • Fortune Magazine – Europe ; 109,137 ; 2.1%
  • New Scientist – Worldwide Sales (Not Australasia & America) ; 97,160 ; -3.9%
  • Spectator ; 70,295 ; 0.0%
  • Monocle ; 63,007 ;
  • London Review of Books ; 53,215 ; 9.6%
  • MoneyWeek ; 45,207 ; 5.2%
  • The Oldie ; 38,540 ; 7.2%
  • Prospect ; 31,932 ; 12.3%
  • Jewish Chronicle ; 29,657 ; -5.0%
  • Investors Chronicle ; 28,516 ; -5.0%
  • Jewish News ; 21,994 ; 11.7%
  • The Tablet ; 21,858 ; -0.5%
  • The Phoenix ; 16,601 ; 2.3%


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