Oh, man. Justin Bieber may be able to sell out arenas in milliseconds and push perfume like nobody’s business, but he’s lacking in the magazine department. In fact, his February Vanity Fair cover might be the mag’s worst-selling issue in 12 years (or, you know, since Biebs was 5).
Let’s do some math. The pop star’s cover sold 246,000 covers, and the magazine sells an average of 342,000 issues each month. This means Bieber’s cover sold about a third less than the monthly average. Ouch. Adding insult to injury, Bieber’s October Teen Vogue issue sold 12% below the magazine’s average, and an April People cover starring the 17-year-old sold 25% below the weekly’s average.
A Vanity Fair spokeswoman quipped to Women’s Wear Daily, “Who knew 12-year-olds didn’t buy magazines?” Now that is an interesting thing to think about. First of all, we don’t know many tweens who read VF (or many VF-loving adults who want to read about Bieber). But when we were 12, we were all about glossies like Seventeen. That said, a lot of teen magazines have since folded. Remember YM? Or Teen? Or CosmoGirl? Or Teen People? Or Elle Girl?
Sure, a whole lot of magazines have shuttered in the past decade, but a remarkable number of teen and tween-focused titles have bit the dust. Maybe that should have been a sign that 12-year-olds apparently don’t buy magazines? More importantly, where are these 12-year-olds getting their fold-out Bieber posters to plaster all over their walls?! (No seriously, where?)
Whatever, Biebs, we’ll step to the beat of your heart: