WWD reports that the not-so-simple act of booking, interviewing, profiling and photographing the mother monster has big impact on magazine sales. According the the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the magazines that featured Gaga in all her glossy gorgeousness sold more copies than virtually any other magazine.
Take, for example, her Rolling Stone cover from July. Through the end of September, that issue sold 245,000 copies, three times the average number of copies sold for other issues. It probably helped that Michael Hastings‘ profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal (one of this year’s most talked-about works of journalism) was in that issue. But we think the gun bra was what really made the magic happen.
And that wasn’t the only cover Gaga turned into a big hit. Vanity Fair in September? That issue sold 450,000 copies, 80,000 over its average. Elle last January? It was the magazine’s third highest selling cover of the entire year. Cosmopolitan in April? About 1.7 million — and let’s be honest, some magazines would kill to have 1.7 million as a subscription base.
Of course, Lady Gaga isn’t the only lady who can move magazines. Rihanna‘s barely there January cover for GQ was the second-best seller of the year for the men’s magazine. And while Blake Lively‘s covers for Esquire and Vogue weren’t hot tickets, her October issue of Allure was that magazine’s best issue of the year at 196,000 copies. Jennifer Lopez similarly went up and down with her covers, bombing with Elle, but having Glamour‘s second best cover of the year and finishing right behind Lively on her Allure cover. Same goes for Lauren Conrad, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Simpson‘s covers for various titles — some were up, some were down. No one has the consistency of Gaga’s great sales.
And then, there’s Taylor Swift:
Barring a late turnaround, Swift had the year’s poorest results. Her April Elle cover was its worst seller of the year through October, with sales running 60,000 less than the average on the newsstand; her November cover for Glamour was the second-worst-selling for the monthly, and her July Marie Claire cover was the third-worst-selling issue for that monthly through October.
Ouch. We don’t really understand about the Swift covers — we sort of love everything about her and were hoping the rest of America did, too. We’re giving you guys two weeks to make her Seventeen cover the best one of 2011.
Lady Gaga, Newsstand Hit [WWD (Subscription Required)]