The circulation for newspapers and magazines counts the numbers of copies sold.
What’s more important for advertisers is how many people read them.
For most publications, readership is higher than circulation.
Magazines are one of my vices and I subscribe to several. Once I’ve read them I pass them on to others and when they’ve done the rounds I pass them on to the local hospital.
However, not every magazine which comes in to the house gets well read, or even read at all.
While doing some – obviously overdue – tidying I came across the April, May and June issues of Skywatch, the magazine which comes with the subscription to Sky TV. All three were still wrapped in plastic.
If this experience isn’t unusual the magazine’s circulation will be much greater than its readership.