Taylor Swift Magazine Cover Sales Are NOT Flopping, Despite Reports

Truth rating: 2
(Vanity Fair)

By Daniel Gates

(Vanity Fair)

A number of outlets published pieces on Tuesday claiming that Taylor Swift magazine covers have been selling poorly.

But the story seems to stem from a sloppy interpretation of the original WWD numbers report, which actually gives evidence that Swift had a solid year on the newsstands.

In the original analysis of celebrity-based magazine sales, WWD makes note of Swift’s recent cover women’s mag ubiquity — the singer was Vogue’s cover girl in February 2012, followed by Glamour (November), Harper’s Bazaar (December), Cosmopolitan (December), Elle (March 2013), and the new Vanity Fair (April 2013).

Swift sold better than average in almost every case. For Vogue, Swift sold 329,371 copies — below Lady Gaga and Adele, but higher than the six-month average provided by the Alliance for Audited Media. Swift’s Glamour sold 443,000 copies, which fell short of Lauren Conrad’s 2012-best 500,000, but did not “flop,” as many reports would make it seem.

The singer’s Harper’s Bazaar also beat the period average, and while her Cosmo cover actually did fare poorly, it also had some timing issues, explicitly referencing a relationship (with Conor Kennedy) that had already ended before the mag hit newsstands. Regardless, the Cosmo case was the outlier — most of the time, Swift’s sales were good.

It’s no surprise when the media rushes to pile on a celebrity, and calling something a “flop” is more sensational than “solid” or “above average.” But the Swift mag industry stories are calling the singer a “failure” simply because she did not automatically have the year’s biggest newsstand sales. They’re twisting the facts to make something out of nothing.

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