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August 15, 2019updated 20 Feb 2023 10:55am

News mags ABCs: Private Eye circulation holds firm year-on-year

By Freddy Mayhew

Private Eye’s circulation has held firm year-on-year, new ABC figures show.

The paid-for fortnightly title, which costs £2, sold 233,565 copies on average per issue for the six months to the end of June.

The Economist had a global print circulation of more than 859,000 for the period, with 159,669 copies sold in the UK and Ireland alone.

The weekly news magazine also claims a total digital circulation of just over 798,500, bringing its global combined circulation to 1.65m.

Its apparent dramatic fall in circulation year-on-year, recorded as 39 per cent by ABC, is down to print figures being compared with print + digital figures used last year, after a change in how it is audited.

When print is compared like-for-like, the drop is 9.4 per cent. Digital is up 73 per cent year-on-year and print and digital combined is up 17.5 per cent.

The Spectator claims ABC previously double-counted print and digital copies for an inflated circulation figure, but has asked for this to stop.

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It has in fact sold 77,889 copies in the first half of this year, up nine per cent year-on-year, rather than down 19 per cent as ABC has said.

Editor Fraser Nelson said: “Print subscriptions are growing at their fastest rate since 1995, but we’re recruiting new subscribers through digital means.”

UK news magazine circulations for the six-months to the end of June 2019 (ABC):

Publication ABC Total (avg per issue) Year-on-Year % change Bulks No. of Issues in period
The Economist 859,232 -39%* 26
Private Eye 233,565 -1% 2,295 13
The Week 145,263 -18% 365 25
Monocle 80,043 -5% 28,087 6
The Spectator (excl. Australia) 76,349 -19%* 1,883 26
The Week Junior 70,115 18% 25
The Oldie 47,002 4% 7
Prospect 44,871 0% 5
Money Week 33,756 -23% 25
Times Literary Supplement 32,129 -22% 6,014 26
Investors Chronicle 30,565 -7% 26

* Compares print-only figures for first six months of 2019 with combined print and digital figures for the same period last year

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