Coffee House

Sales of The Spectator in the first half of 2014

14 August 2014

I’m delighted to announce another strong set of figures for The Spectator. It’s still a pretty tough market out there for magazines but today, we’re reporting a headline print ABC that’s actually up on last year: 62,684 in the first half of this year. Add digital subscriptions, which rose by 24 per cent, over the year, and our circulation has passed 70,000.

The website goes from strength to strength: over ​the ​last year, monthly pageviews have jumped by 59 per cent to 3.5 million year-on-year. The growth is bring driven my mobile platforms, with users up 114 per cent, and social media. Traffic from Facebook is up 120 per cent year-on-year; and it has now overtaken Twitter as our top referrer. Our website now has well over a million people a month, meaning that more people read Spectator articles now than any point in our 186-year history. Which is, in turn, driving sales.


Where once people might have stood in a newsagent and flicked through the pages of a magazine before deciding to buy, today they use social media as a news source and click on articles that take their interest. They may come for one article, then discover a few more – and then discover that The Spectator is by some margin the funniest, most entertaining magazine and well worth subscribing to. In this way, Twitter and Facebook have become the new newsstand; social media now accounts for 44 per cent of our referrals.

And finally, I’m delighted to announce that The Spectator has launched on Flipboard, and I’d like to thank its superb team for working with us on this. All our magazine and digital content is now available via the Flipboard app. We are also launching a range of exclusive Flipboard magazine collections, curated with our readers in mind. Topics include the Middle East and the Battle for Scotland, and individual magazines can be accessed for free via the Flipboard app. Flipboard users are warmly invited to follow us by clicking here.

Our strategy to win readers at The Spectator is pretty simple: if we publish the most original writing in the English language, then people will subscribe. There have never been more ways to do so: on iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Android – and a magazine that you can read in the bath. To try us out for just £12 for three months’ full access click here.

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

  • Liz

    I thought your strategy was to publish spurious pictures of women’s t!ts and with their hands in front of their f@nnies.

  • benjiearthur

    Great news Mr Nelson. Congratulations.

    Now if only you would STOP pronouncing Mr Obama’s name “Obammer” all would be well. As it is you are the only person in journalism who does so and its embarrassing.

  • Magnolia

    I’m pleased that there are more female contributors to the website fare.
    Dare I suggest that this might have increased your sales?
    The site feels far less like a boys own club now.
    Be careful with the use of the word Tory when meaning Conservative as we get near to the election because the former carries pejorative connotations of a kind associated with Labour sympathies.
    It’s use can irk here particularly when used in a critical piece.
    Also watch out that you do not gratuitously join in with the sidebar of shame.
    The picture of the nude torso link this week has been quite off-putting.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    So how much money is the Speccie losing then, lad?

    That’s the figure of most interest.

    And who’s making up those losses, with fanciful “advertising revenue”?

    Those names would also be of interest.

  • swatnan

    Sales would be even higher if the Spectator were given away free, rather like the Evening Standard.

    • GUBU

      Those, by definition, would not be sales.

      Obvious, maybe, but worth pointing out.

  • Lady Magdalene

    You might get a few more subscribers if you stop the Farage and UKIP smear articles and start reporting in a rather more honest and objective manner.

  • GUBU

    I’ve read and enjoyed the Spectator for three decades now. But thanks to your website, my ability to make facetious comments about serious issues and foist my ill informed opinions upon complete strangers has been greatly enhanced. I cannot thank you enough.

    And more Liddle, less Bindel.

  • MDH64

    Great stuff, Fraser. I’ve been a subscriber for years and am in no danger of cancelling anytime soon. I think the mix of writers is about right, although of course I favour some more than others. Keep up the good work (and correct the literal in the

    second para, there’s a good chap).

  • Alexsandr

    no mention of how the comments draw traffic? I think the fact you allow comments on nearly all your articles makes the online bit worth looking at.
    pity the journos rarely reply to the criticisms, tho :(

  • kyalami


  • cambridgeelephant

    Just a word of warning Fraser – If you start running anti Farage ‘put up jobs’ in the run up to next May, I don’t know how many readers you’ll lose but I could certainly think of a few you’ll antagonise.

    Likewise, we take as read that you all think dismal Dave is just wonderful but if you start peddling a d’Ancona line in sycophancy, the ridicule will be considerable.

    • HookesLaw

      Grow up.

      • Alexsandr

        good to see a well argued and referenced contribution, hooky. well done.

        • HookesLaw

          Thank you.
          Mr Elephant is a typical hysteric and indeed childish kipper. ‘oooh dont criticise poor put upon Saint Nigel’ – or I’ll thcweam and thscweam and thcsweam’
          On top of which there is no evidence for his pathetic little rant. If Saint Nigel can’t stand the heat in the political kitchen he should get out.

          • cambridgeelephant

            I would reply but my ‘Troll Tidbit bucket’ is inexplicably empty this morning. So you’ll just have to wait.

    • GUBU

      Many of us would take the view that ‘dismal Dave’ is far from wonderful, but that doesn’t mean that we therefore take it as read that Mr Farage is, and that any criticism of the trilby wearing UKIP leader must therefore be a ‘put up job’.

      As for sycophancy, I’m often surprised that some of the more effusive pro UKIP posters on this site don’t go the whole hog and claim that touching the hem of Mr Farage’s covert coat can heal the scrofulous.

      My advice – if anyone is nasty to Mr Farage in the run up to next May just keep repeating the phrase ‘they’re allowances, not expenses’ and I’m sure everything will be all right.

      • cambridgeelephant

        ” I’m often surprised that some of the more effusive pro UKIP posters on this site don’t go the whole hog and claim that touching the hem of Mr Farage’s covert coat can heal the scrofulous.”

        Really ? I’d be interested to see an example of that if you can find it in any place other than your imagination.

        Like I said there’s an election coming up and given how filthy the last one was it might be a good idea if this publication – at least – tried to keep both feet on the ground.

        Hardman’s little effort currently running on this site, might be seen as a trial run. If so it proves that most of us can spot the difference between ‘News’ and tendencious comment and aren’t afraid of making the distinction known.

        • GUBU

          Of course the claim that Mr Farage possesses miraculous healing powers is a product of my imagination, but no more fanciful in its way than the claims of some on this site, who until recently were confidently predictIng that the established parties would be swept away in 2015 as UKIP carry all before them.

          Plenty of those posts here if you care to look for them.

          As for the media, I’m all for substantive issues being the focus of coverage. Perhaps now that Mr Farage has stopped playing footsy with that same media over which seat he might contest next year he can begin using it to convince more people why they should actually vote for his party. It’s by no means tendentious to suggest that the promotion of Mr Farage as an individual sometimes appears more important than promoting UKIP as a party.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Oh do FO .

      • HookesLaw

        ‘I’m often surprised that some of the more effusive pro UKIP posters on
        this site don’t go the whole hog and claim that touching the hem of Mr
        Farage’s covert coat can heal the scrofulous.’

        they do… all the time.

        • GUBU

          To be fair, Mr Farage appeared to have better things to do in Malta than point meaningfully at dead fish, which we are asked to believe is Mr Cameron’s idea of a good time abroad.

      • Zionist lackey

        cambridgeelephant has a point, as we saw and read during the European elections; when all of the broadcasters and the dailies from whatever part of the political spectrum ganged up on Farage. But there is an old RAF saying, that if you are getting flack, then your over the target, and Farage took it in this spirit.

        All the three main parties were, and still are, fearful of what Ukip can do to their vote next May.Last May was Farage’s apprenticeship and he knows it will be far worse next time. But he is very capable, and irrespective of what he stands for, as political leader he stands far higher in the electorates estimation than do the current triumvirate.

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