Celebrity-focused magazines and their corresponding websites saw surges in sales and traffic after Kate Middleton gave birth to the royal baby last month. Weeks later, the elaborate coverage has yet to lose steam.
The increase in sales was not only due to news of the actual birth. Magazine editors were able to build franchises around Prince George's entrance into the world -- with special editions focusing on Middleton's first week at home, her breastfeeding plans and Prince William's paternity leave.
According to the New York Times, People magazine's special issue featuring the cover photo of the royal couple leaving the hospital with their newborn son was the magazine's best selling issue of the year so far. Also, it was expected to sell 1.4 million copies. People magazine followed up its special issue with another one dedicated to the royal couple, which was expected to have similarly impressive sale numbers. And plans for the magazine's issue dedicated to the release of Prince George's official photos are underway.
The spike in readership was not limited to titles' print publications. Website traffic for various celebrity sites reached record numbers of unique visitors and page views. Interestingly, celebrity-focused websites were not the only pages that could claim victory. Even websites like BBC.com hit record traffic numbers with the news of Prince George's birth.
After the BBC received an onslaught of criticism from TV viewers and website visitors who claimed the news organization was paying way too much attention to the royal birth last month, the broadcaster released a statement defending its coverage. The company also touted its record traffic. The BBC said:
We know from our audience figures that our coverage of the royal baby has been extremely popular - Monday was the biggest global day and second biggest UK day ever for BBC News online with 19.4m unique browsers globally and 10.8m from the UK. We are satisfied that our audiences had both the best coverage of a major historical event - the birth of a new heir to the throne - as well as options to view other news across BBC output as a whole.
Weekly celebrity magazines feel similarly, clearly. The only difference is that those publications plan to keep up the intensity of coverage for many months to come.