It's taken some time, but the surefire secret to selling magazines has finally been revealed: Put Lady Gaga on the cover. Women's Wear Daily reports that from Vanity Fair to Rolling Stone to Elle, many publications locked down their best-selling issues of 2010 when Gaga appeared in some form of disrobement on their covers -- a stat that probably isn't that foreign to Gaga, who announced her new album with a bare-bottom photo on New Year's Eve. Cosmopolitan's April issue featuring Gaga sold 1.7 million copies to make it that magazine's best seller, and her Rolling Stone cover moved 245,000 copies, nearly three times RS' average newsstand sales. It seems that oversaturation hasn't dampened people's interest in Gaga. Also faring well on newsstands: Rihanna, thanks in large part to her topless GQ cover..
On the flip side of that, the one way to guarantee poor sales, surprisingly, is to put Taylor Swift on the cover. Why doesn't Swift, one of the top-selling artists in music now (check her numbers from last week alone), move more magazines? It likely has something to do with the fact that despite countless interviews and front-cover profiles, Swift still hasn't established herself as a headline-making quote machine like Gaga has. Most of her cover stories end up reading like mirror images of each other, with the same anecdotes and oft-repeated revelations that make up most boring promotional puff pieces, and the public has caught on. Also, since this is America, it doesn't help that Swift wears significantly more clothing..