Does having Nicki Minaj on the cover of your magazine actually hurt sales? That's the analysis according to New York magazine, which reports that Nicki is gaining a reputation in the publishing industry as someone who's popularity doesn't translate into profit.
For evidence, New York points to Nicki's recent covers for Elle and Teen Vogue, which "performed badly for both publications." However, New York does allow that Elle didn't do itself any favors by making Nicki look "grungy" on its cover.
By contrast, having Beyonce on the cover does help a magazine's sales. New York cites the popularity of Bey's Vogue March cover, which sold 355,397 copies, besting even first lady Michelle Obama's exclusiveVogue cover story, which moved 293,798 copies.