Fraser Nelson Fraser Nelson

Sales of The Spectator smash through 100,000

Sales figures for UK magazines are published today and The Spectator is delighted to announce the biggest increase in its 192-year history. The bet we made returning the furlough money last summer has paid off.

When we packed up for lockdown last year, we feared the worst and furloughed staff. But we found the demand for our journalism had only increased. We were badly hit (newsagent sales and events especially) but saw we had a way out. In 2019, we sold an average 80,455 copies globally. We set a goal of hitting 100,000 (which would mean overtaking the weekday sales of two newspapers). We returned the furlough money to the taxpayer, and asked people who liked our journalism to pay for it.  

I’m delighted to announce that this goal has now been met. Our sales certificate today shows the average sale for last year was 98,486 weekly copies (including paying triallists), up from 80,455 on average the year before – so a 22 per cent increase.

We set a goal of hitting 100,000 subscriptions (which would mean overtaking the weekday sales of two newspapers)

Include newsagent sales, and we’re now over 100,000. But we’re focusing, now, on subscriptions: and on that measure, we will soon be welcoming our 100,000th subscriber – to whom we’re offering a year’s supply of Pol Roger champagne. (If you’re already a subscriber, you can enter our competition to win a year’s supply here.) After ten years with a tiny team, we’re now expanding – mindful of how many new subscribers came to us via our podcasts, newsletters or our website. We want to make all of them better than ever.

Aside from sales of the magazine, many other milestones have been passed:- 

  • Spectator TV, launched during lockdown, now has 97,000 subscribers with five million episode views already.
  • Podcast downloads averaged more than 1.3 million a month in the second half of last year, up 20 per cent on the year before.
  • Isabel

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