Endoftheday – periodical sales – Brief Article – Statistical Data Included
Newsstand secrets revealed!
Shoppers got more bang for the buck with Elle’s traditionally monstrous September fall fashion issue, featuring Christy Turlington, than with the somewhat slim February issue, graced by Cindy Crawford. But there’s more to a hot seller than just page count, says editor-in-chief Roberta Myers: “There’s a signature look for Elle covers that makes readers stop and take a second look.” One of last year’s bigger hits was the Britney Spears cover, which showed the mass-appeal teen star in haute couture.
ESPN is known as the renegade of its category, and while some unconventional covers don’t sell, the magazine won’t be abandoning its trademark. (Especially since single copies average only 5 percent of total circ.) The poor-selling Super Bowl special featured models as funky, feisty cheerleaders. “You always do best to put an athlete in a uniform [on the cover],” admits senior vp/general manager Michael Rooney. Readers responded well to the College Football Preview, featuring Michael Vick, the Virginia Tech QB.
Young FHM is learning that newsstand seduction involves more than just ample cleavage. Editor-in-chief Ed Needham credits the sales of Alicia Silverstone’s cover to the poly-bagged supplement offering up “100 Sexiest Women in the World.” “Always helps to have a big old promotion,” he says. Shania Twain looked naughty enough on the May/June cover, but editors misjudged the staying power of “country’s sexy queen,” who’d been out of the spotlight for half a year. Still, 280,00 is a pretty sexy number for a newsstand newcomer.
Travel magazines don’t do much single-copy business, but NGT editor-in-chief Keith Bellows says sales spike when covers feature perennially popular destinations…like Rome. Newsstand buyers prefer to read about the attainable rather than the more offbeat–but too attainable can have the least appeal of all. While most U.S. travelers stay within the borders, domestic covers rarely move off the rack, Bellows says, explaining the poor-selling April cover on the San Juan islands.
Time’s Person of the Year issue, though it often generates buzz, does not always generate sales. This year, timing was on its side: It hit stands only days after Al Gore had conceded. “If the election had been definitive on Election Night, I don’t think this would have been the winner,” says managing editor Jim Kelly. While the “New Philanthropists” package was “worth exploring,” Kelly says, he was not surprised by its low numbers, because it lacked a news hook and a strong cover image.
Did consumers fall asleep at the thought of Al Gore going on about technology issues? “People were just suffering from election fatigue,” says YIL editor-in-chief Barry Golson, accounting for the November issue’s poor showing, which surprised him. “It was a beautiful cover,” he says, with model Molly Sims promoting an online-fashion package. He was not the least bit surprised, however, by the success of the “Top of the Net” issue, a solid franchise for the last five years.
COPYRIGHT 2001 BPI Communications, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group