The Economics Of Tabloids

July 5, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

In an article about The Enquirer’s relationship with Donald Trump, Jeffrey Toobin had some fascinating nuggets of information about tabloid economics:

  • Revenue mostly comes from impulse buys at the checkout counter – chain stores account for 75% of sales.
  • For this reason the cover matters. The right cover can boost sales by 15%, and the wrong one can see them drop by the same amount.
  • Tabloid editors have to be careful to not push limits so far that a store like Walmart refuses to stock them.
  • Cover phrases that are particularly successful include “sad last days”, and “six months to live”. Stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie also sell well.
  • A.M.I., the owner of several tabloids, positions them by target age group. OK! and US Weekly are for the young and talk about Hollywood gossip. The Enquirer is for the old and focuses on the British Royal Family, and Hillary Clinton.
  • The Enquirer is so effective at targeting the old that it sees a bump in sales every time social security checks go out.

Read the full story on The New Yorker.