Although most print media are now available online, millions of people worldwide still enjoy the hard copy. Many of the most popular men’s magazines have the option of both, so men can browse their favourite titles from phone, tablet or corner store.
When we hear the term ‘men’s magazine’ we probably think of those top-shelf girlie mags. But in fact most of the most popular men’s magazines also focus on health, fitness, pop culture and even technology. Each of the most popular men’s magazines here, based on information from the Magazine Publishers of America, are unique. They each focus on specific aspects of men’s lives – some more salacious or sensationalised than others. This list ranks the fifteen most powerful names in men’s magazine publishing based on circulation. What do these most popular titles say about 21st century men? You decide.
15. Healthy for Men – Circulation: 59,992
This magazine features bulked up men showing off their abs, arms and chests. It’s all about losing weight quickly and building mass at the same time. Diet plans and work regimes abound in the magazine, promising top results for readers who follow their advice. Being all about fitness, it’s extremely popular with the many American men who want to maximise their workout.
14. Wired – Circulation: 59,044
It’s easy to see why Wired magazine is popular with anyone, but perhaps especially men. It speaks to the tech savvy as well as those interested with new technology and trends. The magazine also looks at how technology affects culture around the world. It includes entertainment news, from interviews with celebrities to the scoop on TV shows and films like Game of Thrones and Star Wars. Add some humour to boot and Wired has it all.
13. Zoo – Circulation: 68,610
Zoo Weekly is a British magazine tailored to young men. Currently, it’s Britain’s only weekly men’s magazine. It features a winning combination of half naked women galore and entertainment news. There’s also a bit of fashion, funny pictures, jokes and some articles. Still, it’s the abundance of super hot girls that really makes this magazine popular.
12. Men’s Fitness – Circulation: 68,843
Founded in 1983 in the US, Men’s Fitness has done very well over the years. As its title suggests, the magazine is largely about fitness and looking good through diet and exercise. It features a number of work out ideas and star athletes to help motivate readers. It also has a section on sex and women, as almost every men’s magazine does.
11. BBC Focus – Circulation: 72,183
This magazine is a little different from most of the others on the list. For one, its main focus is certainly not on sexy women. Rather, this magazine is all about science. It features podcasts and articles that ask the big questions about the scientific field, the world, and the universe.
Many of the writers are experts on some aspect of science or technology and offer opinions and solutions to real life problems. Definitely an important magazine for men and women the world over.
10. Stuff – Circulation: 92,959
Stuff is all about stuff. Figures.
Included in that broad definition is everything technology and gadget related. It has info on all the latest tech-related news and consumer trends. In the US, the magazine also features articles of more general human interest. Although the magazine is largely about technology, it’s still distinctly a men’s mag, typically featuring a beautiful woman on the cover.
9. RWD – Circulation: 98,033
RWD is all about youth. Apparently the youth in the UK love reading about sports and famous rappers, as well as style advice and other entertainment pieces. Football is a huge theme of the magazine, but it also has articles on other sports.
The music presence in the magazine is definitely prominent too, with the covers of the magazines often featuring popular rap artists and dubstep performers. In addition to these music stars, the magazine loves to talk about Grime, a special underground music style.
8. GQ – Circulation: 120,087
GQ, or Gentlemen’s Quarterly, covers a range of different topics geared toward a sophisticated man. It has articles on fashion, sex, women and entertainment and appeals to men who might describe themselves as metro-sexual.
Its sophisticated vibe is perhaps unique in the men’s magazine industry as it tends to focus less on the objectification of women. Of course, women still feature heavily. Among the celebs, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj have both graced the pages of GQ.
7. Nuts – Circulation: 142,212
Although these figures are updated as of 2014, Nuts magazine closed up shop in March this year. Based in the UK, it was once hugely popular and sold thousands of copies each week. It maintained a casual vibe with a huge array of nearly-naked women. In fact, the mag’s favourite regulars are what kept this one flying off the shelves.
But in 2007, its circulation began to decline. At the end, it still had a high circulation, but profits weren’t significant enough to continue publication.
6. FHM – Circulation: 177,261
FHM is based in Britain and includes everything to do with the perceived interests of men. Sex is the number one topic on the site, with many of the articles and images featuring beautiful, scantily clad women. But sex sells, and for FHM, it sells very well. Other than its “100 Hottest Women list”, FHM also covers topics to do with fashion and gaming, as well as funny topics and videos to keep viewers entertained.
5. Men’s Health- Circulation: 245,923
Men’s Health is a US based health magazine that covers everything from actual health advice to women to sex to fashion and style. Originally it was only a health magazine for men, but over the years it evolved and adapted to cover a large range of topics geared toward the male audience. And for good reason: All of the topics covered in the magazine could also be found in many other men’s magazine, some more popular than Men’s Health.
The online version of the magazine has over 38 millions views every month and remains one of the top contenders for gaining the attention of male viewers.
4. Sport (UK)- Circulation: 306,540
Just as the title implies, Sport magazine features exclusive articles and photos from the hottest sports and sports stars.Originally founded in France, Sport magazine is based in London, and is the largest of its kind in the UK.
It began in 2003 and since then has become a free weekly magazine. It also has an iPad app version making it accessible to a large range of viewers in Britain, as well as around the world.
3. Shortlist – Circulation: 521,713
A men’s lifestyle magazine, Shortlist is massively popular in Britain. It’s the number one magazine of its kind in the UK, and boasts over 500,000 in circulation. It has categories including tech and style, and maintains a sleek image with many celebrity faces. The magazine only began in 2007, but it’s already number 3 on this list.
2. Playboy – Circulation: 958,885
The majority of the world knows the name Playboy. Beginning in 1953 by Hugh Hefner, Playboy has been on many men’s shelves ever since. It has featured countless women over the years, but none as popular as the first cover girl, Marilyn Monroe.
It also features articles by top novelists as well as important interviews. Playboy stays strong as the second largest magazine in circulation. It has stood the test of time, and there is no sign that it is slowing down its production any time soon. The magazine makes huge revenue from advertising and the Playboy brand name has become wildly profitable in itself.
1. Maxim – Circulation: 1,228,797
“Girls, entertainment, sports and jokes,” is the tagline for Maxim’s online magazine. The magazine features all of these things and more along the same lines. In total, Maxim has 9 million readers every month, making it the leading magazine for young men in the world.
Many of the women featured in the magazine are celebrities and models, which may be featured in the “Hot 100” list. There are also sections for cars and sports of course. If you’re looking for a general men’s magazine that’s bound to keep you reading, you can’t miss with Maxim.