People Royal Baby Collector's Issue

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People Royal Baby Collector's IssuePeople magazine was the first celebrity newsweekly to show off the latest royal family member on its cover, and publishers are expecting Prince George to pay off with increased single copy sales.

Much as we’d like to celebrate our independence from Great Britain and its monarchy, the numbers show we’re still collectively obsessed with all things royal—especially weddings and babies.

People magazine has long profited from celebrating the monarchy’s regal milestones on its covers, and now that Kate is a royal mom, the comparisons to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, have been renewed in earnest—right down to the polka dots the two were wearing when they introduced their first-born sons to the world.

They’ll also likely be judged by the number of magazines they and their first royal bundles sell at the newsstand—though it’s probably not entirely fair given the changing state of the industry.

Compare the 2.6 million newsstand copies of People’s 1982 issue featuring a newborn Prince William to the 1.4 million that Time, Inc., expects to sell of Prince George’s royal baby issue. (The celebrity newsweekly’s issue dedicated to the much-celebrated royal wedding between William and Kate fell somewhere in between at more than 2 million copies.)

Some credit the industry-wide dip in sales at the newsstand to the rise of social media and the immediacy of information it provides, as well as growth in digital subscriptions—though they overall make up a very small percentage of any title’s subscription base.

But the arrival of the royal baby—and the magazine’s timing as the first to feature the young prince on its cover—could be just what People needs to move into positive territory. Already, sales of the single copy collector’s issue have increased 21 percent over the weekly’s previous 26-week average, according to Magazine Information Network.

A limited quantity of the royal baby collector’s issue is available through with the purchase of 26- or 53-week subscriptions to People magazine, as well. Offer is good until Aug. 9, 2013 or until the collector’s issue supply runs out.