View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Data
  2. Audience Data
August 11, 2016

Magazine ABCs: Private Eye print sales rise to 30-year-high as Economist reports 1.5m global circulation

By Dominic Ponsford

Private Eye has maintained its place as the best selling UK current affairs magazine with sales slightly up year on year.

Its average sale grew 0.8 per cent year on year in the first half of 2016 to 230,099 a fortnight – its highest circulation since 1986.

Editor Ian Hislop said: “It’s amazing… 30 years ago we had a Conservative female Prime Minister, the Labour party was in a mess and we had a TV star who ended up as the US President – how times have changed.”

The UK edition of The Economist claimed combined print and digital circulation up 3.7 per cent year on year to 236,342. The Economist has reduced its reliance on free distribution and now has 95.1 per cent paid-for sales.

The Economist’s paid-for circulation in the period stood at 224,761. Digital editions made up 76,101 of its weekly magazine sales, up 7.3 per cent year on year.

Worldwide, The Economist claims print and digital circulation of 1,459,929. Globally, the title says it has dropped 100,000 free copies from its weekly circulation.

The global total is not the title’s biggest ever gross total, but it is the highest paid-for figure.

Content from our partners
Pugpig named best media technology partner of 2024 by AOP
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange

Chief marketing officer Michael Brunt said: “This impressive growth in paid subscriptions demonstrates that demand for quality journalism is on the rise in a world overshadowed by low-quality free content.

“The Economist remains at the forefront of this trend by consistently creating and distributing trusted insight and analysis to a globally curious audience.”

Brunt told Press Gazette that around a quarter of new subscribers to The Economist choose a digital-only subscription, a quarter choose print-only and a quarter choose a print and digital bundle. The print and digital-only subscriptions cost the same amount.

He said The Economist has doubled the profitability of its circulation business over the last four years.

Both The Week and Spectator also benefit from strong digital edition sales of 38,000 and 19,000 respectively.

UK current affairs magazine circulations in first half 2016, source ABC

Figures are combined print and digital circulation, percentage year on year change and percentage of UK and Ireland circulation actively-purchased

Title Total YoY% UK ROI AP%
The Economist –  United Kingdom Edition 236,342 3.7 95.1
Private Eye 230,099 0.8 99.9
The Week 204,197 0.7 77.9
The Spectator excluding Australia 76,750 37.9 87
Monocle 76,180 -5 93.2
The Oldie 46,421 0.6 97
MoneyWeek 45,239 -5.7 98.9
Prospect 32,475 3.3 62.9
Investors Chronicle 30,324 -6.1 99.8
The Spectator Australia 7,875 -4.4 N/A

Topics in this article : ,

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network