Rihanna attends the "China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.
Photograph by Mike Coppola — Getty Images

She helps publishers find love in a hopeless place

By Robert Hackett
May 19, 2015

Stroll by a newsstand recently? There’s a reason you may see a particular celebrity’s visage gazing back at you—eye to printed eye.

By MTV’s count, Barbadian belle Rihanna has graced the cover of magazines 19 times within the span of a year. That includes Vogue, S Moda, W, Elle, Vogue (again, but the Brazilian version), Ebony, W (this time in Korea), Harper’s Bazaar, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia edition, Harper’s Bazaar special edition…and others.

Why so many covers? Turns out that the pop performer and fashion icon’s image bolsters newsstand stales.

The placement of her countenance upon Harper’s front page helped tick newsstand sales up 0.8% to 120,000 copies, according to Women’s Wear Daily. The bump represents a major boon for an industry beset by steadily declining revenue.

“That might not seem a lot,” writes Alexandra Steigrad, “but Bazaar was bested only by its Hearst Magazines stablemate Town & Country, whose cover of actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw helped it boost newsstand sales by 25.3% to 43,500 copies, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.”

Rihanna’s Vogue cover from last year also bested competitors. As Steigrad notes: “Taylor Swift and her BFF Karlie Kloss couldn’t outdo Rihanna for Vogue. The much-ballyhooed Swift/Kloss cover sold 11.2 percent fewer copies in March, at 230,925 copies, than Ri-Ri’s March 2014 cover.”

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