Coffee House

The Spectator – now read online by 1.3 million

13 February 2014

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:

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 16.56.32

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:

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.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • Simon McTuffington

    You should give ‘Eddie’ a blogspot, he always has something weird to say which usually gets 100’s of ‘likes’, and usually a lot more entertaining than the articles it’s posted under, if you can’t beat them join them Fraser O.O

  • MikeBrighton

    Fraser I subscribe yo the iPad edition, why can’t I have a web ID for full access to your website like er the telegraph gives me?

  • Framer

    The radio reviews are unbearably pc. Who appointed the critic, when? She seems to have escaped from the Guardian via the BBC World Service.

  • CraigStrachan

    Yes, the timely and deft navigation of The Spectator on the heaving digital seas is a tribute to Cap’n Nelson, his predecessor at the helm, and the Admiralty brass at TMG.

    Of course it helps that the ship remains the best magazine in the English language, in any format!

  • Frank

    Sorry, you are too infatuated with David Cameron and Boris Johnson to be taken seriously as a political commentator (remember Auberon Waugh?). Taki is a deluded, unpleasant fascist, and the person who thinks it clever to ask Pippa M to do articles should be led outside and left to die in the snow. The book reviews are usually good, but Melissa Kite needs to up her game. Jeremy Clarke, Booker and Martin Vander Weyer are all excellent. The coverage of continental Europe is very poor (ditto the rest of the world actually). The magazine does not have a clear-cut USP, other than being vaguely literate, possibly because it doesn’t want to upset its owners / their commercial interests. Copying the Guardian, by having lots of blogs/articles that are click-bait, does build up on-line readership, but it is doubtful if this can be translated into solid advertising revenue. A bit like the Telegraph, a slow slide into obscurity. Sad, but inevitable with owners who have zero vision.

    • MC73

      Surely the continued employment of good old Taki in defiance of those that hate him is a notable Speccie USP?

      • Frank

        Only in a very adverse way. I am astonished that a Greek could admire German military units.

        • Colonel Mustard

          I am astonished that a British socialist can admire and justify Stalin’s crimes, nearly every week here at the Spectator.

          • Frank

            British socialists are a rare and protected species. They either have a kind of prolonged adolescence, eg Tony Benn, or a sort of non-sexual prolonged Peter Pan-hood, eg Miliband. They would no doubt have been put up against the wall by Stalin within a week of arriving in his socialist paradise. I do agree that it is odd for the Spectator to provide them with space, but then the Spectator does love click-bait articles.

  • London Calling

    My brain has increased in size since joining the Spectator all those years ago………………..thank you for feeding my brain and keeping us up to date with Westminster when it happens and giving a non biased view as well as varied views……..congratulations to you all……………:)

    PS The spectator should be viewed in secondary schools as a topic for debate….:)

  • Alexsandr

    well you have the editorial stuff fixed. now get rid of the useless disqus, and the annoying popup that appears at the bottom of the screen.

  • Jez

    An absolute victory there for you Fraser.

    From planning, execution and a high quality consistent delivery. You have adapted the product from a shaky prototype into a living, breathing entity that moves (fairly accurately) with your readership- and it must also be bringing in the coin, so well done!

    Anyway, i’ll now attempt to extract my head from out of your backside and get back to work!


    • Dan Grover

      I couldn’t agree more!

  • Ricky Strong

    Hear hear. And long may it continue.

  • Raw England

    Congratulations, Spectator writers and staff. Apart from Frasiers little veerings into London Liberal territory, at times, you’re all cool, including Frasier (who I loved when he kept saying the word ‘Lefties’ on the podcast regarding the quangos. It’s not often you hear it said by any commentator, but it sounds brilliant).

    Please continue to remain in the centre-Right (though I’d prefer a big lurch towards Nationalism), and not allow the ruling Lefties to drag you into their toxic, dying hemisphere.

    • Jez

      He’s countered this lately by inserting more intelligent & knowledgeable Bloggers.

      • Raw England

        Nice one. Though, I definitely think giving the far left a platform (Goodwin, Sunder Katwala, Nick Cohen) is a bit detrimental. Plus, the far left would never reciprocate it in their own rags, blogs etc.

        I know Cohen is different to the usual far left, though. And is probably the only Leftist with a morsel of sanity and truth about him. But his recent article in which he essentially instructed the extreme left to “Hit the far right UKIP, and hit them hard” reminds you what he actually is.

        • Jez

          I agree…… to be honest though, it’s always good to see how utterly out of touch the left are when reading the above names’ material.

          I would never log onto the Guardian or the Morning Star, so i would never see the utter contempt that the majority of the media/establishment-Left have for me.

          I keeps you sharp to their extremism.

          • Raw England

            I sometimes skim the Guardian comments section to remind myself just what filth they (and by natural extension, the BBC) are. It keeps the rage burning.

            • Jez

              Ha Ha Ha Ha!!

        • Colonel Mustard

          I posted a comment on Labourlist today and I urge all those good and true here to do likewise in reciprocation for the abuse and harassment telemachus and his “associates” wreak here.

          • Raw England

            Watch your IP, Colonel. You never know with those scum.

        • Dan Grover

          For what it’s worth, Mark Wallace of ConservativeHome has a regular blog over at The Guardian. I admit, though, it’s rarer, and Nick’s articles tend to centre more around foreign policy, where I think there is a bit less of an outright left/right divide.

          • Raw England

            But is ConservativeHome even Conservative? From what I’ve seen, far from it. They have Sunder Katwala on, the foreigners who’s sinister ‘think tank’, ‘British Future’, intentionally and extremely passively-hatefully skews, fabricates and manipulates statistics and polls in order to keep aggressive multiculturalism and immigration going full steam ahead. Sunder also insists blacks, Muslims are English, and that anyone can be Englsh.

            ConHome also has on Mohammed Amin, the very shady Muslim ‘Conservative’ MP. Not long ago, him, Mohammed Ansar and other Islamists went on ConHome to ruin Douglas Murray’s reputation and career; they were trying to viciously discredit him. And guess what? The white ‘Conservatives’ of ConHome sided with them AGAINST Murray.

            Other articles on ConHome insidiously mock, humiliate and call for the banning of groups like EDL etc, and just generally have a very London Liberal narrative 90% of the time.

            So, ConHome doesn’t really count, to be fair.

            • Dan Grover

              He was also head of Campaigns for the Tax Payers Alliance for about 5 years. But is that really the point? He certainly doesn’t fit with The Guardians editorial stance (feel free to go and read some of his articles – his specifically, rather than that of his employer) and yet he has a platform on their website.

              I can’t think of many others, however.

    • Daniel Maris

      Frasier? Shum mishtake surely? Wasn’t he the genial comedian with a loving for all things Swedish?

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