Guns are big – both in political news and consumer preferences. And it shows in the new circulation numbers from the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM).
The organization released their twice-yearly paid subscription figures last week, and it gave a few surprises.
According to D.B. Hebbard of Talking New Media, “gun magazines boomed, with the NRA’s official magazine, American Rifleman, entering the top 25 titles. Its circulation now stands at 2,238,735, a gain of almost 30 percent, reflecting higher NRA membership numbers.”
Hebbard reports that Guns & Ammo and Garden & Gun also grew circulation in the latest report.
Overall, paid circulation for print titles was down by not quite 2% across the board for consumer titles, with some notable exceptions.
“Hearst-owned Cosmopolitan reported its total digital replica circulation at 236,006, down from 2012, yet print subscriptions increased,” said Hebbard. “Overall, Cosmo’s circulation remained flat due to falling single copy sales.”
Also notable was the larger than average drop of Readers Digest, which fell by a bit more than 22%.
The top 25 list contains a mix of straight consumer titles and “membership” magazines like American Rifleman, so it’s somewhat hard to compare numbers on the merits of the magazine alone. Still, it does show that consumer preferences rise and fall based on many factors. Publishers that are on point with what readers want continue to show that print magazines have serious power to engage their audience.