Taylor Swift Doesn’t Sell Magazines–Is She Overexposed?

Taylor Swift at the Brit Awards

You may have noticed, it’s been a very Taylor Swift year around here. If all the pert, bland pretty pretty princess-ing about was starting to bore you, good news: you’re not alone. Apparently Taylor Swift is real bad at moving copies of the magazines she covers.

WWD filed a new report today that breaks down sales of issues covered by Swift and… it’s surprisingly abysmal! Strangely, the artist who wins every award for which she’s nominated and seems to sell a million records when she sneezes… doesn’t find success on newsstands.

Or her maybe her fans hate reading?

For one, Swift’s Vogue cover sold about half of Gaga’s:

For Vogue, Swift sold 329,371 copies, digital sales included, which was a little above the six-month average that ended in June 2012, but no match for Lady Gaga, the magazine’s top seller last year, with about 602,000 copies. Or for that matter, Adele, the second-best seller with 410,343. All numbers come from the publisher’s statements to the Alliance for Audited Media, which may change slightly after they’re audited.

In all fairness, Gaga covered the September issue, an issue that’s picked up by even casual fashionistas.

However, over at Glamour, she fell short of… Lauren Conrad:

Swift did OK for Glamour in November — but with a little over 443,000 copies, she couldn’t beat reality TV star Lauren Conrad in May who was the year’s runaway best-seller (a little over 500,000), or designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham in September (about 482,000).


Ditto for Bazaar — Swift sold 138,412 copies, a little above the average for the period, but far below Gwen Stefani’s September (166,365).

She had already been booked for Cosmo’s December cover when Joanna Coles came on as editor in chief of the sex-and-makeup monthly. Swift flopped, with the issue the weakest in a year that underperformed overall — she sold a little over a million copies, or 20 percent below the six-month average that ended in December 2012. Swift was even outsold by actress Zooey Deschanel, who took the dubious honor of having the year’s second-worst seller.

Glamour EIC Cindi Leive hypothesizes that Swift fell out of favor right around her relationship with One Direction’s Harry Styles: “There may have been a little hiccup for her right around the 1-D relationship,” but then adds “But it’s nothing a pro can’t come back from. I’d put money on her for the long run.”

HuffPo posits that the disappointing numbers come from good old fashioned overexposure–a problem for which Swift herself is largely to blame. After all, she’s on seemingly every magazine cover all the time and, in the accompanying interviews, keeps saying stuff like this and this and especially this.

And–although we were joking–there might be some credence to our theory that Swift’s fans just aren’t big readers (insofar as she’s challenging to tolerate if you’ve ever so much as glanced at her lyrics).

Then again, all this will probably just result in an album about how hard it is to sell magazines.


Share This Post:
    • Nancy

      It could be that her fans don’t read those particular magazines, or that most of the readers of those magazines don’t chose whether or not to read an issue based on who’s on the cover and instead base it on interest in all the featured topics that month, or whether or not they have spare money for magazines that month, etc. For example personally, I’d probably never buy a December issue of a magazine since I’m always broke from Christmas shopping.

      • Leigha7

        I agree. I usually decide to get a magazine because of the articles featured. I may be slightly more likely to look at the articles if I recognize the person on the cover, but that’s about it.

      • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff

        Really? As in, you guys read the cover lines and decided to buy based on the stories inside?

      • Eileen

        The only celebrity who will induce me to buy a women’s magazine is Ke$ha (seriously, I once bought Seventeen at age twenty-one because she was the cover). Other than that, maybe I’ll buy it if there’s something really interesting and different advertised or if I have an upcoming wait that I might want a magazine for.

    • Jo

      I walk away from the magazine if I see a Taylor Swift cover. I honestly don’t care what she has to say or what advise a teenager can give me.

      • Leigha7

        She’s 23, so not technically a teenager, though you’d never know it from her songs.

    • http://twitter.com/heysuburban Kate

      I never minded & even liked Taylor Swift’s music – I confess to being a bit of a sucker for Top 40 – but recently, she’s A) become totally overexposed and B) beginning to grate on me. From her too-covered-by-the-media childish relationships to her newly-bordering-on-autotuned sound to her “special place in hell” lack of humor, I’m just over it. Take a break, T-Swift, a la Gaga & Katy Perry. Let us miss you, then come back.