GQ is confident it’s worth at least another buck on the newsstand. Today the brand announced it’s raising its newsstand cover price by 14 percent, from $6.99 to $7.99.
The price increase for the 12-issue monthly will take effect starting with its September issue.
The brand says that the increase is a response to the engagement with a higher priced, upgraded book for its 2015 Men of the Year issue, which featured better paper and a larger trim size.
“The print market is shifting and changing at a dramatic rate, but the one constant that remains is consumers still understand and appreciate quality,” said publisher and CRO, Howard Mittman, in a statement. “In a world full of disposable content, GQ invests in quality editorial and premium experiences in ways no other men’s brand can.”
Of course, when you look at the numbers, there is reason to believe some of the motivation behind the somewhat modest increase is to offset the high cost of a declining print product.
According the Magazine Media 360º Brand Audience Report in June, GQ saw its month-over-month print and digital edition readership drop by 1 percent. What’s more, its year-to-date readership is down 2.7 percent. So that extra dollar may help soften these declines.
The good news for GQ is, despite a decline in print readership, digital is way up. The company would not share revenue figures with Folio:, but the 360º data indicate major gains across the board for GQ, and traffic equals revenue.
Desktop traffic is up by 65.7 percent year-over-year, in a time when many are watching their readers migrate to mobile. Speaking of which, mobile is also doing extremely well, up 102.9 percent year-over-year. And video, where the big money flows, is up 45.6 percent year-over-year.
So in sum, GQ is doing just fine, but it still needs to keep its margins reasonable, and an increased newsstand price probably won’t hurt.