Spectator editor Fraser Nelson has said digital is behind a “renaissance” of print sales, as ABC released magazine circulation figures today.
However, the figures are flattered by double-counting allowed under ABC rules which sees print and digital bundle subscribers figure twice in the total.
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The weekly news magazine’s total circulation figure (combining its print and digital editions and excluding Australia) for the six months to the end of 2017 is 85,172, up 7 per cent year-on-year.
Some 13,952 print Spectator subscribers are counted twice because pay a premium to for digital access.
In a blog post today, Nelson said print sales alone for the nearly 190-year-old title were at 62,940, surpassing a previous high in 2006.
He said: “Never in our long history have more people been reading (and, more importantly, buying) the print magazine.”
Nelson said the magazine’s UK subscriptions went up 11 per cent last year – “its fastest rise for a decade” – and that the “vast majority” of those on trial subscriptions become full subscribers.
He said: “The website brings millions of people to The Spectator and they can read two articles a week before being invited to subscribe for full access. When they do, the vast majority choose our print and digital package.
He added: “Digital is not a threat to print. In our experience, digital has led to renaissance of print.”
The Economist topped circulation figures for the second half of last year at 254,129, up 8 per cent year-on-year, with Private Eye close behind at 246,628, down 1 per cent year-on-year.
Prospect magazine saw the biggest year-on-year gain, up 37 per cent to 44,670. It was helped by the fact some 13,030 of its subscribers are counted twice because they are on print and digital bundles.
The Economist has some 61,164 subscribers who are counted twice under the ABC print/digital bundle rule.
Time’s Fortune Magazine recorded the biggest fall, down 32 per cent to 58,780, while Time Magazine itself dropped by 18 per cent year-on-year to 76,052.
ABC print and digital edition circulation figures for news and current affairs magazines (July to December 2017):
|Publication (including print + digital editions)||ABC Total (six months to Dec 2017)||Year-on-year % change||UK/ROI % Actively Purchased||Bulks||Free|
|The Economist (UK)||254,129||8%||96%||10,317|
|BBC History Magazine||94,583||-3%||100%|
|The Spectator (excl. Australia)||85,172||7%||92%||1,608||4,789|
|The Big Issue||83,073||100%|
|New Scientist (Worldwide excl. Australasia & US/Canada)||78,417||-3%||99%||221|
|Time Magazine (British Isles)||76,052||-18%||73%||2,305||18,563|
|Business Traveller Magazine||66,358||1%||2%||24,800||38,085|
|Fortune Magazine (Europe)||58,780||-32%||68%||18,806||7,110|
|The Week Junior||48,017||86%||5,725|
|The Week Magazine||38,800||6%|
|BBC Sky at Night||20,693||-12%||100%|