In the magazine world, 2011 has come and gone (January 2012 issues are already out). Thus, WWD has issued their annual report on the year's best and worst selling American covers--meaning, which celebrity faces, from Lady Gaga to Kim Kardashian, achieved the highest success rate at newsstands.
The results, while largely predictable, included a few surprises. On the largely predictable end, Sarah Jessica Parker, Heidi Klum and Jennifer Aniston were newsstand gold, which explains why we keep seeing them on the covers of the same magazines every year and will probably continue to. We'll also probably be seeing a lot more of budding movie star Mila Kunis, who was GQ's best selling cover of the year and brought in above average sales for W, Cosmo and Elle.
Musicians, on the other hand, didn't fare so well. Even two of the biggest pop stars in the planet--Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga--did worse than you'd expect. As was reported earlier this year, Bieber's Vanity Fair cover tanked, marking the magazine's third worst-selling issue since 1992. As for Gaga, she may have proven that people don't want to see her sans costume. Her October Harper's Bazaar cover, on which she appeared makeup-free, was the magazine's third worst seller of the year. Meanwhile, her May Harper's Bazaar and March Vogue covers, both of which featured pink hair and plenty of makeup, were the magazines' third and second best selling covers, respectively.
The biggest surprise--and perhaps a welcome one for Kardashian nay-sayers--was the Kardashians' inconsistent success rate. Given their media takeover in 2011, you would think they'd be guaranteed newsstand gold at this point but magazine buyers may be more discerning than we thought. Kim did cover Glamour and Cosmo's best-selling issues of the year in February and August, respectively. However, sales for her Harper’s Bazaar cover in March, her April Self cover and her November Lucky cover were reportedly around average. And, sales for her January 2012 Glamour cover are expected to come in well below average. A Kardashian backlash in 2012 sounds like a real possibility.
Do any of these figures surprise you?