Circulation Numbers: US Vogue, December 2008

The December issues of most magazines do not only celebrate the holiday season — like who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but it is also the time to survey who’s been selling well on the news stands and who hasn’t. Various magazines in the US will be publishing their annual circulation numbers (usually in the last few pages at the back) this month or in next month’s (January) issue.

The December 2008 issue of US Vogue reported an average run of 1.65 million copies per issue in the last 12 months, of which 1.03 million copies were for paid subscriptions or news stand purchases. The rest were either given out as complimentary copies to advertisers or returned as unsold and shredded. In comparison, Paris Vogue and Italian Vogue have about 10% – 15% of US Vogue’s average circulation numbers, i.e. about 150,000 – 200,000 copies per issue so in essence, US Vogue is still Queen of the circulation crown.

That said, it is not the number of copies sold that generates the revenue for its publisher — US Vogue is published by Condé Nast. It is the number of advertising pages in the magazine that brings home the bacon. And US Vogue had 2,893 pages of advertisements in 2008, which translate to about $50 million in revenue. That makes US Vogue one of the most profitable magazines in Condé Nast’s stable of publications.

Editorial-wise, I think US Vogue lags behind Paris Vogue and Italian Vogue in fashion coverage, style and innovation. But who can argue with $50 million in revenue?

Update: Check out Rock The Trend to find out the circulation numbers of other Vogue editions.

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