News mag ABCs: Spectator editor claims digital is behind print sales 'renaissance' - Press Gazette

News mag ABCs: Spectator editor claims digital is behind print sales 'renaissance'

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.

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
Private Eye 246,628 -1% 100% 2,278
The Week 202,617 -2% 74% 523 50,492
BBC History Magazine 94,583 -3% 100%
The Spectator (excl. Australia) 85,172 7% 92% 1,608 4,789
Monocle 84,268 5% 98% 26,280
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
MoneyWeek 46,081 -1% 99% 403
The Oldie 44,721 -2% 98% 1,027
Prospect 44,670 37% 77% 9,885
The Week Magazine 38,800 6%
New Statesman 34,974 3% 69% 10,151
BBC Sky at Night 20,693 -12% 100%
What Franchise 13,330 -1% 1% 13,200
in-Cumbria 5,278 -4% 5,278



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1 thought on “News mag ABCs: Spectator editor claims digital is behind print sales 'renaissance'”

  1. So the New Statesman is only actually selling about 24 thousand copies (ten thousand being given away free) – that is not enough for this magazine to survive.

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