Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for the ‘Cover Fight’ Category

Cosmo’s Bad Date Again

Posted by Scott On April - 6 - 2018

In this era of “extreme volatility” many “A List” women’s service magazines are taking a beating.  Even the great Cosmopolitan isn’t immune.

In 2017 all 12 issues of Cosmo were down in Canada…and for the entire year they were down a depressing 29%.

But it seems that even the pros in New York can make the same mistake two year’s in a row.

The Nov 2016 issue (Date Smarter) was down a staggering 47% from the prior year’s issue…making it the worst of 2016.

But yet, despite that spanking, the Nov 2017 issue returned to the same subject (Dating Now), which was down 46% from the previous year’s abysmal number.  That made it the worst of the year as well.  And it sold-thru at a humiliating 15.8%.  I believe this is the worst-selling issue ever in Canada.  I looked back 5 years and nothing else even comes close.

When the data speaks to you, don’t ignore it and repeat the same mistake over again. You’re just fighting yourself.

 

Nov 2015:  Sold: 68,548

Nov 2016:  Sold 36,141

Nov 2017:  Sold 19,456

 

 

 

 

Country Living: “Creativity” issue Flops

Posted by Scott On April - 6 - 2018

“Extreme Volatility” is how I describe the newsstand environment these days.  Covers that once may have worked well-enough, now can be brutally punished.  So it’s more important than ever to get the cover right.

Case in Point:  Country Living magazine, who saw sales tumble 14% in Canada in 2017, with 8 of 10 issues posting declines.  At the top of the list of an avoidable self-inflicted mistake was the Sep 2017 cover that had a horse in the Kitchen (that’s normal right?), which resulted in loss of sale of 33%.  The previous year they had their Small Spaces themed cover in that time slot, which was the #1 seller in 2016.

But was the lesson (If it works, keep doing it) learned?  Apparently not.  Rather then go with their Makeovers themed cover, which was their #1 best-seller in 2017 in the Jan/Feb time slot, the decision was made to try a “Creativity” issue in 2018.  Result?  Sales down over 44%.

 

 

 

 

In Style…Not so Much!

Posted by Scott On April - 5 - 2018

Let’s face it, 2017 was a tough year for a lot of “A List” women’s service magazines.  It’s what I call “extreme volatility”.  Covers that might have worked fine a few years ago, just don’t get the job done today.

Case in point:  In Style was down 22% in Canada in 2017.  Yikes!  Plus, 11 of their 12 issues were down.  It’s tough out there.  The June issue was down 50% from prior year.  November was down 34%.  February down 32%.  October down 30%.

The one bright spot in 2017 was their January issue, featuring Sarah Jessica Parker…up 14% from prior year…and 3rd best of the year.  But did they learn their lesson?  Apparently not.  The January 2018 issue is down 30%!  I’m not sure who that child is, but it sure isn’t Sarah Jessica Parker.

It’s hard to succeed when your covers fight against you.

 

 

 

 

New York Magazine’s Best & Worst of 2014

Posted by Scott On December - 14 - 2015

boxing_globe_icon_125x125.2Which covers of New York magazine turned on/turned off Canadian’s in 2014.

Below I will show you six covers in chronological order. 3 Covers were the worst sellers in Canada, while the other 3 were the best selling covers of New York magazine in Canada.

Your task is to separate the best from the worst, and then rank them from best to worst.

No Peeking.  Answers are the bottom of the post.

2014-05                                                      2014-13                                                    2014-27

2014-052014-132014-27

2014-33                                                     2014-41                                                     2014-47

2014-332014-412014-47

 

 

 

 

 

And the Answers Are:

Best-Sellers in Canada

  1. 2014-33  Fall Fashion… Sold 642 copies at a 60% sell-thru
  2. 2014-13 100 Years/Songs/Night… Sold 629 copies at a 61% sell-thru
  3. 2014-27 Real Estate…Sold 617 copies at a 57% sell-thru

Worst Sellers in Canada

  1. 2014-05 Super Bowl…Sold 212 copies at a 21% sell-thru
  2. 2014-41 Drones…Sold 222 copies at a 21% sell-thru
  3. 2014-47 Happy Face…Sold 232 copies at a 22% sell-thru

 

RollingStone 2015 (1st Half)

Posted by Scott On December - 10 - 2015

boxing_globe_icon_125x125.2Which issues of the RollingStone sold the best in Canada in the first half of 2015?

Below are the 3 Best Sellers, along with the worst seller.

Take you best guess then check the answers at the bottom of the page.

No Peeking.

Hint:  One of these was on sale for 4 weeks)

2015-02 (On Sale Dec 8th, 2014)

2015-02

2015-22 (On Sale May 11th,2015)

2015-22

2015-24 (On Sale May 25th, 2015)

2015-24

2015-30 (On Sale Jun 22nd, 2015)

2015-30

Results Below:

And the Results:

  1. 2015-02 Seth Rogan:  Sold 13,688 at a 50% sell-thru   (On sale 4 weeks helped)
  2. 2015-30 Rush:  Sold 8,345 at a 34% sell-thru  (Our Boys)
  3. 2015-22 David Letterman:  Sold 5,986 at a 28% sell-thru  (Legend Retires)
  4. 2015-24 Greatful Dead:  Sold 2,836 at a 13% sell-thru  (Way too Groovey)

The New Yorker 2015 (1st Half)

Posted by Scott On December - 3 - 2015

boxing_globe_icon_125x125.2Which issues of the The New Yorker sold the best in Canada in the first half of 2015?

Below are the 3 Best Sellers, along with the worst seller.

On the left is how they looked on newsstands with their cover wrap.

And on the right is how they looked without the cover wrap.

Take you best guess then check the answers at the bottom of the page.

Jan 19th, 2015

2015 Jan 19th2015 Jan 19th without

Feb 23rd, 2015

2015 Feb 23rd withCV1_TNY_02_23_15Nelson.indd

Mar 16th, 2015

2015 Mar 16th2015 Mar 16th without

May 11th, 2015

2015 May 11th with2015 May 11th without

The Results Are:

Jan 19th 2015:  Sold 1,170 copies at a 15% sell-thru  (Ebola is a real buzz kill)

Feb 23rd 2015:  Sold 4,112 copies at a 38% sell-thru  (Classic Take on a Classic)

Mar 16th 2015:  Sold 2,051 copies at a 21% sell-thru

May 11th 2015:  Sold 2,014 copies at a 24% sell-thru

The Feb 23rd cover is a classic take on a classic cover.

1_2IRCqO34oyGU9f5HifmofA

New Yorker’s Best Sellers in Canada 2014

Posted by Scott On December - 2 - 2015

boxing_globe_icon_125x125.2Which issues of the The New Yorker sold the best in Canada in 2014?

Below are the 3 Best Sellers, along with the worst seller.

On the left is how they looked on newsstands with their cover wrap.

And on the right is how they looked without the cover wrap.

Take your best guess, then check the answers at the bottom of the page.

 

August 11th, 2014

2014 Aug 11th2014 Aug 11th without

 

 

Dec 22nd 2014

 

2014 Dec 22nd 2014 Dec 22nd without

 

 

Feb 17th 2014

2014 Feb 17th Cover Wrap2014 Feb 17th

 

Jan 6th 2014

 

2014 Jan 6th2014 Jan 6th without

 

 

The Canadian Results Were:

Aug 11th 2014: Sold 4,339 copies at a 43% sell-thru

Dec 22nd 2014:  Sold 4,148 copies at a 39% sell-thru

Feb 17th 2014:  Sold 3,377 copies at a 33% sell-thru

Jan 6th 2014:  Sold 1,523 copies at a 19% sell-thru

Scientific American 2014 (Take the Test)

Posted by Scott On September - 9 - 2015

boxing_globe_icon_125x125.2Scientific American has been continuously publishing for 170 years, so they must be doing something right.

Let’s have some fun.

Test your knowledge of Covers That Sell.  I’ll show you 4 of their 12 covers in 2014.  Using Canadian sales data, your task is to rank them from best to worst.

Guess in which order they ranked:  #1, #2, #3 and #12 worst.

Here are the 4 covers (no peaking, pan down slowly, as answers are provided at the bottom).

 Jan 2014

2014 Jan

Oct 2014

2014 Oct

Nov 2014

2014 Nov

Dec 2014

2014 Dec

And the Answers Are:

#1 Seller in Canada…Nov 2014, Meditation, sold 9,819  (Must have been the subject)

#2 Seller in Canada…Jan 2014,  Mind, sold 8,990  (Best looking cover of the year)

#3 Seller in Canada…Dec 2014, Ideas, sold 8,459  (Big Type Treatment)

#12 Worst Seller in Canada…Oct 2014, Big Bang, sold 5,587  (Huge failure…very drab)

Vogue 2014 (Take the Test)

Posted by Scott On July - 29 - 2015

boxing_globe_icon_125x125.2Vogue has some of the most amazing covers year after year.

Let’s have some fun.

Test your knowledge of Covers That Sell.  I’ll show you 4 of Vogue’s 12 covers in 2014.  Using Canadian sales data, your task is to rank them from best to worst.

Guess in which order they ranked:  #1, #2, #3 and #12 worst.

Here are the 4 covers (no peaking, pan down slowly, as answers are provided at the bottom.

Nov 2014  (Fall Romance)

Nov 2014

 

Mar 2014 (Rihanna)

Mar 2014

 

Aug 2014 (Blake Lively)

Aug 2104

 

Sep 2014 (Fall Fashion)

Sep 2014

 

And the Answers Are:

#1 Seller in Canada…Sep 2014, Fall Fashion, sold 47,530  (Seasonality Matters)

#2 Seller in Canada…Mar 2014,  Rihanna, sold 28,420  (A List Celebrity)

#3 Seller in Canada…Aug 2014, Blake Lively, sold 24,615

#12 Worst Seller in Canada…Nov 2014, Romance, sold 12,293  (Huge failure)

Music to Take Test By:

Vogue 2013 (Take the Test)

Posted by Scott On July - 27 - 2015

boxing_globe_icon_125x125.2Vogue has some of the most amazing covers year after year.

Let’s have some fun.

Test your knowledge of Covers That Sell.  I’ll show you 4 of Vogue’s 12 covers in 2013.  Using Canadian sales data, your task is to rank them from best to worst.

Guess in which order they ranked:  #1, #2, #3 and #12 worst.

Here are the 4 covers (no peaking, pan down slowly, as answers are provided at the bottom.

 

March 2013 (Beyoncé)

2013 Mar

 

August 2013 (Claire Danes)

2013 Aug

 

January 2013 (Gwen Stefani)

2013 Jan

 

September 2013 (Fall Fashion)

2013 Sep

 

And the Answers Are:

#1 Seller in Canada…Sep 2013, Fall Fashion, sold 60,524  (Seasonality Matters)

#2 Seller in Canada…Mar 2013,  Beyonce, sold 35,489  (A List Celebrity)

#3 Seller in Canada…Aug 2013, Claire Danes, sold 31,160

#12 Worst Seller in Canada…Jan 2013, Gwen Stefani, sold 17,512  (Huge failure)

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About Me

Scott Bullock’s Newsstand Cover Quiz Show is legendary in the industry. Using covers as the catalyst, this interactive and entertaining format is a light-hearted but hard-hitting spin on Packaging 101. Testing the cover savvy of magazine professionals across disciplines, the Quiz Show pits publishers against editors, circulators against art directors, retailers against wholesalers -- ultimately leading to new common ground in the quest for better covers. Scott is the Owner of Circ3, Smart Circulation Solutions, a circulation consultancy. www.circ3.com

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