Despite the widespread use of digital media, US magazines continue to play a significant role in the media landscape. They’re seen as credible and trustworthy information sources that produce high-quality content, especially as fake online news abounds.
Many of the most popular US magazines have adapted to a digital, mobile audience by offering content in print, online, audio, and video formats. It’s helping them maintain a loyal readership while appealing to younger generations. Plus, it allows these magazines more opportunities to publish new content and stay connected to their readers.
Most importantly for PR and comms professionals, the top US magazines give you ample opportunities to promote your brand and messaging every day.
Let’s explore the 10 most popular US magazines and how you can leverage them in your communications:
Conde Nast Traveler
The New Yorker
AARP The Magazine
A name that needs no formal introduction, Time Magazine is a weekly news magazine that covers the following topics:
- World events
This US magazine has one of the broadest target audiences of any publication.
What makes Time popular is its reputation as a trusted source of news and information. The magazine's writers and editors are known for their in-depth reporting and analysis. The magazine's coverage of major events and trends has often set the agenda for the news cycle.
Time is also known for its iconic cover designs, which often feature striking images and provocative headlines that capture readers’ attention. The US magazine's covers have become a cultural touchstone, and many of them have become instantly recognizable symbols of major historical events.
Conde Nast Traveler
Readers aren’t likely to see the words Conde or Nast stand alone in a sentence. But put them together and you have one of the most influential travel magazines in the US.
Conde Nast is a global media company that publishes a variety of magazines, including its namesake travel edition. This magazine caters to affluent, educated, and style-conscious readers. It highlights dreamy destinations, resorts, restaurants, and attractions that elicit a sense of wanderlust. The collective spending power of its US readers totals an estimated $508 billion.
The magazine reaches about 16 million monthly readers around the world and gets in front of about 16 million social media followers.
Cosmopolitan, lovingly known as simply Cosmo, is a popular women's magazine that covers the following topics:
The US magazine has a target audience of women aged 18-35, with a focus on empowering young women and promoting a modern, progressive lifestyle.
Its frank and open approach to discussing topics that are often considered taboo or controversial has lent to its ongoing success. The magazine is well known for its candid articles on sex and relationships as well as coverage of current events and social issues. It also features celebrity interviews, fashion and beauty tips, and lifestyle advice, making it a well-rounded source for its readers.
Cosmopolitan is a US magazine with a global presence, with editions in over 100 countries, and is available in both print and digital formats.
Bloomberg Businessweek is a weekly magazine that covers business, finance, and economics.
The magazine targets business professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, fintechs, and decision makers who are looking for in-depth analysis and insights into the global economy.
What makes Businessweek stand out is its in-depth coverage of current business news and trends as well as its detailed profiles of companies and business leaders.
The US magazine is known for its rigorous reporting, thoughtful analysis, and engaging storytelling, which helps its readers understand the complexities of the business world.
A favorite among homemakers, Good Housekeeping is a monthly women's magazine that covers all things related to home, health, beauty, food, and lifestyle.
The magazine targets women between the ages of 30 and 50 to help them manage their households and improve their quality of life.
Good Housekeeping takes a practical and accessible approach to topics about everyday life. The magazine features product reviews, home organization tips, recipes, and advice on health and wellness, making it a valuable resource for busy women who want to stay informed and up to date.
With roots tracing back to 1885, Good Housekeeping is one of the longest-running magazines of its kind. It’s built a strong foundation of trust over the decades and has also adapted to digital formats. Its brand reaches more than 65 million consumers across all formats and boasts a collective following of more than 7 million followers on social media.
Tip: Take a look at the largest US newspapers as well!
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is among a unique breed of publications whose revenue from readers is greater than that of its advertisements.
Its subscription prices are a bit pricier than other popular US magazines, with a year of digital-only access costing $120. Its reputation as an independent source of information, entertainment, cartoons, and quality writing spurs its circulation of more than 1.2 million copies.
Not just a journal of New York happenings, the US magazine has become a cultural icon of American life. Long-form journalism, literary criticism, and essays on a wide range of topics make it stand out as a leading voice of the people.
Coupled with its digital formats, the publication reaches more than 58.8 million people. The magazine attracts a well-educated and sophisticated audience, with a readership including intellectuals, artists, writers, and other cultural elites.
A guide to male fashion, style, and culture, GQ is a monthly men's magazine aimed at young, affluent men.
The cutting-edge coverage of men's fashion, pop culture, self-care, and sports has made this publication a household name.
GQ is also known for its strong visual aesthetic, featuring high-quality photography and design that are both stylish and engaging. Its pages are filled with fashion spreads, advertisements, and other types of visual content that are both aspirational and inspirational.
With a readership of 5 million across all of its formats, the magazine is a favorite among US men who want to feel inspired by the content they consume.
Also referred to as Nat Geo, National Geographic is one of the most recognizable names on this US magazine list.
This monthly publication features articles and photography on geography, science, nature, history, and culture. It captivates a broad audience of intellectually curious readers who want to learn about the world around them.
One of its prized features is its high-quality photography. The magazine's photographers are renowned for their ability to capture stunning images of landscapes, wildlife, and people from around the world. Its writers are highly skilled at telling compelling stories about the places, people, and events that shape our world.
National Geographic is also known for its commitment to education and conservation. Many of its articles educate readers about important environmental issues and inspire them to take action to protect the planet.
AARP The Magazine
US magazines are often considered an “older” media, so it’s no surprise that AARP The Magazine is one of the most popular US magazines still in print.
Reading Tip: Learn more about the state of print monitoring.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) publishes the magazine, which is geared to Americans aged 50 and over. It focuses on topics such as health, finance, travel, and lifestyle.
The magazine has a reach of about 38.2 million, making it the largest-circulation magazine in the United States.
AARP The Magazine is known for its feature articles and interviews with celebrities, politicians, and other influential figures. It serves as a valuable resource and source of entertainment for older Americans who are looking to stay informed and engaged with the world.
Sports Illustrated is a household name in sports publications, even among non-sports fans. This US weekly sports magazine covers a wide range of sports, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, and more.
Its comprehensive coverage of sports includes in-depth reporting, analysis, and commentary on the biggest games, matches, and events. The magazine's writers and editors are known for their expertise and insight into the world of sports, and their coverage of major events such as the Olympics and World Cup has become iconic.
Sports Illustrated is also known for its stunning photography, which captures the action and excitement of sports in a way that few other publications can. The magazine's covers, featuring the biggest stars in sports, have become collectible items in their own right.
How to Use These and Other US Magazines in Your Media Strategy
These top 10 magazines in the US don’t offer the immediacy of a daily newspaper (at least in their print versions), yet they remain some of the most trusted sources of information. That’s because they’ve staked their reputations on fact checking, analysis, reporting, quality writing, and knowing what their audience likes and wants.
These 10 most popular magazines in the US are just the tip of the iceberg, too. There are plenty of honorable mentions for top US magazines, including Vogue, Macworld, Redbook, Newsweek, InStyle, AllRecipes, Elle, and even online-only publications like PC World and Oprah.
Meltwater gives you a direct connection to thousands of journalists at top US magazines and other media outlets. We save you time by offering contact information to the publications you want to be in. Make an introduction, submit your pitch, and take it from there. Our media monitoring tool can also monitor your brand’s mentions so you never miss an opportunity to capitalize on free press.
Learn more about how Meltwater empowers your communications strategy when you request a demo by filling out the form below.