Dear magazine editors: Lady Gaga >>>>>>>>>>>>> Taylor Swift. But isn't that obvious without the Audit Bureau of Circulations' latest batch of numbers, summing up who sold and who didn't in 2010? Yes, friends: This is a year-end story that offers some new insights into the power and intrigue of last year's most prolific celebrities rather than just recycled pictures of them in outfits. Fashion- and lady-mag covers featuring Lady Gaga were among the strongest selling across titles last year, while those featuring Taylor Swift were among the worst. Gaga's Rolling Stone cover — which also included the provocative profile of Stanley McChrystal — sold three times as well as the average copy of the magazine in 2010. Her Vanity Fair cover was the magazine's second-best seller, behind Angelina Jolie's. Her Elle cover was the magazine's third-best seller, while her Cosmopolitan cover was the magazine's number-one-selling issue.
However, 2010's other ubiquitous blonde diva Taylor Swift is apparently not nearly as interesting to the fashion-magazine-buying masses. Her April Elle cover was the magazine's worst seller of 2010, while her November Glamour cover was that title's second-worst-selling of last year, and her Marie Claire cover was that magazine's third-worst-selling issue.
Joining Swift in the disappointing-sales ranks is Blake Lively, whose Vogue cover was the magazine's third-worst-selling and whose Esquire cover was the worst-selling of 2010 (she was Allure's best-selling cover girl, though — go figure). And Jessica Simpson may be the overlord of a $1 billion clothing empire, but the issue of Marie Claire on which she posed makeup-less was that title's worst-selling issue of the year.
Fellow girl-who-is-everywhere-all-the-time Rihanna fared much better, though. Her GQ cover was the magazine's second-best seller while her Seventeen cover was that title's best seller. She also did pretty well on Elle, her July cover sales just slightly below average at 285,000 copies. But these numbers prove her appeal to men (or whoever reads GQ), teens, and women.
So it seems the way to sell a lot of magazines these days is to not put girls on covers just because they're blonde, pretty, and everywhere all the time (dear editors: WHY DO WE NEED TO SEE MORE OF THEM AND READ ABOUT HOW FAAAHBULOUS SOME WRITER'S LUNCH WITH THEM WAS, IN WHICH SAID STARLET — GASP — ORDERED FRENCH FRIES?), but women who are provocative, either because when they're not near-naked, they're wearing something that makes them look totally, awesomely insane, or because they run a household with Brad Pitt. But to put it even more basely, America loves (hot) naked people.
THE LADY’S A WINNER [WWD]