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Atlantic’s Britney Bombs at Newsstand

Now-infamous cover sells 24,000 single copies—half as many as usual.


Dylan Stableford By Dylan Stableford
06/13/2008 -10:13 AM






Back in April, when the 150-year-old Atlantic plopped Britney Spears on its cover, it faced a backlash—albeit an expected one—from subscribers, bloggers and assorted media critics, some of whom criticized the magazine for "selling-out," pandering to capture a slice of what Portfolio dubbed "The Britney Economy."

Turns out the magazine wasn't selling out at all. The Britney cover tanked, according to figures submitted by the Atlantic to the Audit Bureau of Circulations Rapid Report filing system late last month. The magazine sold approximately 24,000 copies at the newsstand, some 21,000 less than March and nearly 30,000 less than its January/February issue. The magazine sold 40,900 single copies of its April 2007 issue, per ABC. (During the second half of 2007, each Atlantic issue sold, on average, 57,000 single copies at the newsstand.)

ATLANTIC'S 2008 NEWSSTAND PERFORMANCE

MONTH SINGLE COPY SALES COVER STORY
Jan./Feb. 53,300 "After Iraq"
March 45,000 "Which Religion Will Win?"
April 24,000 "The Britney Show"
May 40,000 "Is Israel Finished?"


Atlantic Media president Justin Smith told me in a recent video interview that the company was, in fact, expecting it to bomb:

"The irony is, we were doing this at our own peril, because most of our newsstand executives and circulation executives were saying ‘Don't put Britney on the cover! It's going to bomb on the newsstand!' So we put Britney on the cover despite some of our newsstand advisors."

"And sure enough to our predictions," Smith is quoted in FOLIO:'s June cover story, "it bombed on the newsstand."

Click here to see the full video. And click here to see "Atlantic Rising," our cover story on the Atlantic.

Luckily for us, there's no chance of it bombing.

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Dylan Stableford By Dylan Stableford --

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