British blogger David Hepworth published a pithy comment yesterday that rings true here in the Colonies: "There are lies, damned lies and circulation figures but if you want to know how healthy a magazine is, look at how cheaply you can buy a sub."
He added the comment to his article,
The gob-smacking "sales" figures of Rolling Stone, which includes this insightful statement:
"All circulation figures involve a certain amount of smoke and mirrors
but American figures are more opaque than ours. The overwhelming
majority of copies are on subscription and most of those are sold at a
risibly low price in order to secure the number of readers the
publishers need to deliver to the advertisers."
Some translations are in order for my fellow Americans: "Gob-smacking" means astonishing -- so surprising that the person is speechless. "Risibly" means "laughably." And "circulation" is actually a way to make money on your content instead of just delivering eyeballs for your advertisers.