Christine Haughney breaks down Time‘s recent sales numbers:
Publishing a 36-page cover article called “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us” certainly didn’t seem like a shameless attempt to bolster newsstand sales for Time magazine. But the 25,000-word article that Steven Brill wrote for the magazine’s March 4 issue appears to be on course to become its best-selling cover in nearly two years. Ali Zelenko, a Time spokeswoman, said the issue sold more than double the typical number of copies. …
The most surprising attention came from younger readers on social media who are less immediately concerned with medical bills. The article was shared 100 times more often on social media than the average Time article in 2013, and the #BitterPill hashtag was mentioned nearly 6,000 times on Twitter.
Long-form journalism has a future among readers. But among many editors and publishers? Alas, they’re too busy asking advertisers what they want to peddle. For my part, if we can raise the revenues, it makes the Deep Dish project for long-form non-fiction more exciting. The market is open. The writers need a platform, as general interest magazines cling to survival. We’re not there yet, but you can help us get there by one simple thing: subscribe! And we’ll deliver.