Rolling Stone finds controversy sells

The much reviled Boston bomber article doubled newsstand sales for the magazine, even after some stores banned the issue.

By Aimee Picchi Aug 2, 2013 3:35PM

August 2013 Rolling Stone cover (© Rolling Stone)Remember those threats of boycotts against Rolling Stone's Boston bomber issue? Well, it turns out the effort backfired. 


Retail sales of the issue more than doubled compared with average per-issue sales for the past year, The Hollywood Reporter notes, citing data from Magazine Information Network. The publication sold 13,232 copies of the issue, which featured a dreamy-looking photo of accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 


Still, the publisher didn't respond to a request for comment from MSN moneyNOW about sales in New England, where several chains refused to stock the publication, or on potential subscriber losses. Amid the furor over the cover, some readers promised to cancel their annual subscriptions.


Among the companies refusing to stock the issue were CVS (CVS) and New England-based Tedeschi food stores. But newsstand sales are a relatively small slice of Rolling Stone's readership, comprising roughly 5% of its total circulation. 


While some readers condemned the publication for glamorizing the bomber, Slate's Mark Joseph Stern called the cover "brilliant" for depicting the alleged terrorist with tousled hair and dewy eyes, subverting the public's image of what a terrorist should look like.


The article itself, which details Tsarnaev's change from a popular student into an alleged criminal, has garnered just a fraction of the cover's attention.


The boost in single-copy sales shows that outrage can be a hot selling point. The magazine's 1970 cover featuring murderer Charles Manson, the Hollywood Reporter notes, was not only a best-seller, but also won a National Magazine Award. 


Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi


More on moneyNOW

5Comments
Aug 2, 2013 5:21PM
avatar
Naw ! really ?  It must be the reason MSN, AT&T and Yahoo keep shoving celebrity news down our throats on our home pages 24/7. I hate it. I don't give a rat's behind what the Hollywood types, singers, rappers and anybody else who thinks they are somebody does in their life. Sick of hearing about Miley, Justin B, Beyoncé, you name them. Rolling Stone sucks. You're either make dust or you are eating it. If you read about somebody else making dust then you are eating it.
Aug 4, 2013 9:23AM
avatar
I read a issue back in the 80's it was crap then as it is now
Aug 3, 2013 2:49PM
avatar
Does anybody still read Rolling Stone? I thought it went out of circulation after jerry Garcia died. HAHAHA
Aug 3, 2013 7:16AM
avatar
They're just finding that out????? I think they knew that from day 1.
Aug 5, 2013 6:05PM
avatar

I did my part to decrease their sales on this issue.  Every store I went to had this issue taken off the rack and deposited under shelves or in some far reaches of the store where no one could find them. 

 

F you Rolling Stone.

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?

MARKET UPDATE

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More

MSN MONEY'S