It’s that time of year again, where The Spectator‘s circulation figures are out – and our success continues. In October, I announced that we had more than one million unique visitors in a month. This week, we passed the 1.3 million mark with more than 3.2 million pageviews — something even I didn’t expect. Here’s how our analytics look:
Interestingly, a quarter of our traffic now comes through social media. Another 26 per cent is from search engines, up from 20 per cent last year. Google, Twitter, Facebook and Flipboard are fast becoming the new newsagent – people can browse headlines, click what they like and discover for themselves that The Spectator is the (as Graham Greene put it) the best-written weekly in the English language.
In this way, web traffic is supporting our magazine sales – both print and digital. Our tablet editions (we now sell on Android, iPad, Kindle and iPhone) have helped us break another milestone: we now sell more digital copies than we sell print editions in the newsstand. This is due, of course, to hardening of the former and weakening of the latter – but that’s the nature of the market. Our readers, especially those overseas, like the idea of instant delivery and getting their fix on a Thursday morning.
While turmoil continues in the newspaper world, our sales are rising: our ABC return for July to December, which we release today, shows an average circulation for the period of 62,580, up 554 copies on the previous six months. Add on our digital sales (up 40 per cent on last year) and the figure is better still.
The success of our podcast continues – our sales may be approaching record highs, but still more people listen to The Spectator than read the magazine. And I’m also delighted to announce that our podcast has a sponsor: Squarespace, the website design people who also sponsor the Guardian and New Yorker podcasts. Do check them out here: they’re offering a 10 per cent reduction for Spectator readers. And while I’m at it, here’s this week’s episode:
The View from 22 podcast
So winning the top gong at the British Society of Magazine Editors awards a few months back was the cherry on the top of a very good year. And we’re even making a profit.
The digital world has been a threat to some, but for The Spectator it means more people are reading us now than any time in our 186-year history. Our formula, first served up in 1828 and remixed by the great Alexander Chancellor in 1975, is proving popular now than ever. Not a bad way to start 2014.