A magazine is a collection of articles in a published form. It is a convenient way to find various articles on a particular subject in one place. The roots of the word ‘magazine’ are traced back to the Arabic word makhazin, meaning, storehouses. Therefore, magazine turned out to mean the storehouses of knowledge. Our favorite magazines can be found stacked in our book-shelves, our bed-sides, and even our traveling bags. There is a long list of categories to which the magazines belong for example news magazines, sports magazines, fashion magazines, teen magazines, craft magazines, etc; hence, appealing to the interest of the majority of the people. They are published in various languages and millions of copies are circulated around the World. Also, magazines with international circulation allow stories and ideas to travel across the globe. This list of top 10 most popular magazines is based on their respective circulation, a variable which is reflective of their popularity.
‘People’ is an American magazine owned by the Time Inc. It is published weekly and is considered to be one of the America’s most popular magazines with the largest audience. It belongs to the categories of celebrity and human-interest where special care is taken to maintain a balance and not to turn it into a complete celebrity gossip magazine. It is widely known for its yearly special issues: ‘Sexiest Man Alive’, ‘World’s Most Beautiful people’, and ‘Best & Worst Dressed’. In 2005, People was named as the “Magazine of the Year” by Advertising Age and in 2006, it was ranked as number 3 on Adweek’s ‘Brand Blazers’ list. Its circulation is around 3.5 million.
9. Family Circle
The Family Circle, launched in 1932, is an American magazine especially for Women. It has been owned by many companies including The New York Times Company and now it is being published by the Meredith Corporation. It is one of the “Seven Sisters”, a group of magazines which especially targets the women audience. Thus, as already evident, its category is home-economics and other interests of the women. It is published 15 times a year and its total circulation is around 3.8 million.
8. National Geographic
The National Geographic magazine is the official magazine of the National Geographic Society, first published in 1888. Its articles are about geography, science, history, culture, and photography. It is published monthly and has an international circulation of around 875 thousand and a US based circulation of around 4 million. It is also being published in 36 various language editions. The National Geographic magazine has won many awards including the American Society of Magazine Editor’s General Excellence Award in 2006, 2007, and 2011 (in the over 2 million circulation category). It has also received top ASME awards for photo journalism and the magazine of the year awards in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
7. Good Housekeeping
The Good Housekeeping is also one of the “Seven Sisters”, published for the Women. Its articles target women’s interests including product testing, recipes, health, and literature. It is an American magazine, first published in 1885, and is currently being published by the Hearst Magazines. However, in 1922, its British edition was also started. Some of the famous writers who have written in this magazine are Somerset Maugham, Francis Parkinson, and Virginia Wolf. Its total circulation is around 4.3 million.
6. Reader’s Digest
The Reader’s Digest is an American family magazine and its category is general interest. Its first issue was published in 1922 while the last issue was published in February, 2013. Its total circulation was around 5.5 million. It was a monthly magazine owned by the Reader’s Digest Association. Its size was half that of the regular American magazines therefore, its American edition took up the slogan of ‘America in your pocket’. It had a global circulation of around 10.5 million where it reached 70 countries in 21 different languages. The Reader’s Digest held the honor of being the best-selling consumer magazine in the United States for many years until 2009 when it lost the title to Better Homes & Gardens.
5. Better Homes & Gardens
The Better Homes & Gardens is another one of the “Seven Sisters” American monthly magazine. It was founded in 1922 and is published by the Meredith Corporation. Its articles are based on topics such as cooking, gardening, interior designing, crafts, and healthy living. It is the 4th best-selling magazine in the United States. Its total circulation is around 7.6 million.
4. Game Informer
The Game Informer is an American monthly magazine belonging to the category of video games. It is published by the GameStop Corporation and was launched in 1991. It contains reviews and news regarding video games and consoles. It is owned by the parent company of a video-game retailer (GameStop Corp.) which enhances its in-store promotion. Its total circulation is around 8.1 million, making it the United States’ third largest magazine.
3. AARP The Magazine
Since 1980s, AARP The Magazine has been the United States’ largest circulated magazine. However, until 2002, it was known as the Modern Maturity. First published in 1958, it is a bi-monthly magazine owned by a non-governmental organization, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). It belongs to the category of ‘lifestyle’. Its total circulation is about 22.5 million.
The World’s second most circulated magazine is a religious magazine. Awake! is a monthly American magazine considered to be the companion magazine of The Watchtower. It is an illustrated magazine, first published in 1919. It is published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses through the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Its original purpose, as given in a statement until 1982 was: “this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new order before the generation that saw 1914 pass away”. It is published in 99 languages with a total circulation of around 43.5 million copies.
1. The Watchtower (Public Edition)
The World’s most circulated magazine is an illustrated religious magazine. It is a monthly American magazine, first published in 1879. It is published in 209 languages around the globe with a monthly circulation of a massive 45 million copies. It is published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses through the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Pennsylvania. Its purpose is given in its mission statement: “This magazine, The Watchtower, honors Jehovah God, the Ruler of the universe. It comforts people with the good news that God’s heavenly Kingdom will soon end all wickedness and transform the earth into a paradise. It promotes faith in Jesus Christ, who died so that we might gain everlasting life and who is now ruling as King of God’s Kingdom. This magazine has been published continuously since 1879 and is nonpolitical. It adheres to the Bible as its authority.”