March 9, 2015—Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the Council on Foreign Relations, has had quite a winter, kicking off the new year with a number of accomplishments, including growth across all platforms.
The magazine’s latest Alliance of Audited Media (AAM) audit reports a record-high total circulation of 177,428 for the second half of 2014—a 4 percent increase on the first half of the year and a 7.5 percent increase from the previous year. Paid subscriptions jumped from 139,527 to 144,991 (an increase of 5,464) from the first to the second half of 2014, and newsstand sales also saw a 6 percent uptick, rising from 28,915 to 30,552. Expanding digital readership has driven this strong performance; Foreign Affairs began auditing digital readers in 2011, and today it has 26,839 digital-only subscribers. And on top of its audited figures, the magazine also has an additional 12,000 digital readers on non-replica devices.
"The magazine’s growth of paid readership across print, digital and mobile devices underlines the demand for the high-quality and accessible content our editors are generating on a daily basis,” said publisher Lynda Hammes.
In January, Foreign Affairs received its first-ever finalist nomination for the National Magazine Award for General Excellence (in the literature, science and politics category)—the publishing industry’s highest honor. During the same month, Managing Editor Jonathan Tepperman conducted a broadly reported interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus—marking the president’s only interview with an American journalist since 2013.
The streak continued in February, during which the magazine exceeded 1 million Facebook fans, and ForeignAffairs.com broke its latest traffic records, with more than 1.45 million total visits from more than 1 million unique visitors. The magazine rounded out the month with a personal record-high 385,000 Twitter followers. With fresh, relevant news content every day, the website now publishes over 400 original articles a year, in addition to the more than 100 pieces that appear first in the bimonthly print magazine.
Foreign Affairs ebooks mirror global developments; recent publications have explored ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Gaza, and Syria, and the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos. Ebooks are published every off-month of the print-publication cycle and complement print and online content.
The magazine is boldly expanding its areas of coverage, with recent lead packages devoted to the American political sphere, entrepreneurship, and racial issues across the world. “Foreign Affairs can and should tackle important global issues, of all kinds and wherever they appear,” said Editor Gideon Rose. “What is unique about the magazine is our seriousness of purpose, our intellectual and practical authority, and our accessible presentation. If we can maintain those, we can and should be able to do justice to our heritage and give our traditional readers ever more and better content of the kind they’ve come to expect, even as we reach new audiences in new constituencies. The rise in our metrics across the board, alongside increased recognition, and real-world influence, suggests our approach is paying off,” he added.
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Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations since 1922, is an independent magazine of analysis and commentary on foreign policy and international affairs. In recent biannual surveys, Foreign Affairs has been ranked among the top ten most influential media outlets by the independent research firm Erdos & Morgan.
Andrew Palladino, Media Relations, Foreign Affairs