Since February 2012, Taylor Swift has been on five magazine covers. It began with this Vogue cover, which sold reasonably well at just over 329,000 copies — that's about half of what Lady Gaga, the year's best-seller, did in September, and a solid 100k less than Adele. Still, above average and perfectly respectable. But since Vogue tested the waters, other magazines have followed suit, to increasingly dismal results. As she continued her parade through Glamour and Bazaar, numbers tetered closer and closer to the publication's respective averages, until her December Cosmopolitan cover eventually proved a total flop.
So why does she keep booking covers? Analysis indicates that musicians do perform well on covers, but it looks like Taylor has been a little overexposed (though that didn't stop Vanity Fair, whose current cover story has already been revealed to such an extent that there's no telling what will happen at the newsstand). The same thing happened with Rihanna, whose cover sold 32% below Vogue's six-month average, but it doesn't seem to affect Kate Moss, who delivered second-best sellers for both W and Bazaar (though it should be noted that most of W's circulation comes from subscriptions). Jennifer Lopez and Kate Middleton both drove major sales, too.
Glamour's EIC Cindi Leive isn't giving up on Taylor just yet, though. As she explained to WWD : “There may have been a little hiccup for her right around the 1-D relationship. But it’s nothing a pro can’t come back from. I’d put money on her for the long run.”
Frankly, we can't help but wonder if giving the occasional non-megastar her chance at the cover would help break up the industry-wide monotony. Then again, it's a tricky business, and that's not a risk print publications can really afford right now. What do you think — would you buy yet another Taylor Swift cover? And for those of you sticking to your RSS, is there any celeb who could convince you to shell out for a print edition?
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.