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The Economist is 1.5 Million Strong

For the first time, The Economist has passed the 1.5 million circulation mark. The cause? An increase in digital subscribers.

The magazine achieved print circulation of 1,487,010 in the latest ABC period (ABC UK/US July-December 2011), combined with a digital-only paid circulation of more than 100,000 in December 2011.

Andrew Rashbass, CEO of The Economist Group, said:

“It took us 160 years to reach one million circulation, but only seven years to reach one and a half million. We now expect to reach two million within five years, fueled by rapid growth in digital circulation. By then we expect to have more digital than print readers.

Although our print circulation continues to rise, at some point in the near future it will go down as more and more of our customers choose to read us on a tablet or e-reader. We’re relaxed about that because we are discovering great opportunities in digital having already reached a digital-only circulation of more than 100,000. Over 75% of these readers are new to us and 12% had previously given up their print subscription. We are seeing that our digital readers are finding new times to read and immerse themselves in a truly lean-back reading experience.”

At least they’re relaxed about this whole digital transformation.

Is someone projecting the demise of print, though?

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