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15 February 2022

New Statesman reaches highest circulation for 40 years as expansion continues

Average magazine circulation is now over 41,000, of which 37,000 are paid copies

By New Statesman

The New Statesman’s subscriptions, registered users and digital audiences all grew significantly in 2021, taking the magazine’s circulation to its highest level since 1981.  

Average magazine circulation is now over 41,000, of which 37,000 are paid copies – an increase of more than 12 per cent on the previous year. Combined print and digital subscriptions rose by 31 per cent in 2021, while subscriptions to the New Statesman’s leading political and cultural emails – which include Morning Call, World Review and the revamped Ideas and Letters – rose to more than 185,000.  

The latest results follow a significant expansion in the New Statesman‘s international reach, and an investment plan that includes adding bureaux in Brussels, China and the United States. Andrew Marr, the former BBC political editor, has joined the title as political editor and columnist. Both the print edition and the website were given a new visual identity in September last year. The site is now delivering over 2 million unique users each month, with industry-leading dwell times.

Tom Young, the New Statesman’s editorial director, said: “The recent growth is positive, but is just the start. The New Statesman’s high-quality journalism provides both context and understanding for our audiences and is proving popular in the UK and internationally.

“What sets the New Statesman apart is its sceptical and independently liberal politics, as well as the quality of its writing and intellectual ambition. With a stable of writers that includes Andrew Marr, John Gray, Lola Seaton, Helen Thompson, Kate Mossman, Adam Tooze, Ailbhe Rea, Katie Stallard, Bruno Maçães and Jeremy Cliffe, we can give our readers a view on the wider world unmatched by other publications.”

This year’s audience growth builds on a very strong performance in 2020, when digital subscriptions grew by 75 per cent. The title’s growing audio-visual operation is achieving rapid growth too, with the second series of Armando Iannucci’s Westminster Reimagined due in the spring. In January 2022 there were half a million NS podcast downloads, double the same period in 2021.

The title is continuing to expand its award-winning Spotlight print and digital policy vertical, offering clients unparalleled access to policymakers and high-value B2B editorial. This year it will also launch its first New Statesman awards and Politics Live, a one-day conference featuring Westminster’s leading politicians and policymakers.

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Sam Fairburn, the New Statesman’s marketing director, said that the NS “has an increasing focus on growing its audience, not just in terms of circulation but also in terms of quality and digital presence”.  

Fairburn explained that the New Statesman would be moving on to independent reporting of its audience figures rather than using the Audit Bureau of Circulations methodology.

“Each day we work with our clients and their evolving needs to create solutions that cover a multitude of channels, platforms and audiences, from podcasts and newsletters to print, and the time and resource put into the ABC hasn’t served the purposes of the business as it is today,” Fairburn said. 

“We are more open than ever to showing our audience numbers, across all platforms, and know this move is best suited to our ambitions. And with the introduction of enterprise subscriptions and other ventures, we now have our highest circulation since 1981.” 

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