Looking back on the early days of Nintendo Power
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We sent out 3.2 million [complimentary copies of the first issue], that's how big the database grew from the 600,000 to when the decision was made fairly early 1987.
Our database grew during the time we were pursuing this to more than 10 million. We had a huge direct-response database, and we protected it very closely. We never sold it, and never let the mailing tapes out. For a while, we even directly mailed the magazine in-house and set up a mailing shop because we valued the assets of the list.
When it hit 1.3 million -- and we talked about how fast it grew -- I was looking at what magazines were the biggest magazines in the country, and in fact the biggest one was a senior's magazine. Like an AARP magazine or something. But that's not fair because it's just something you get. It's like AAA Magazine. You get it when you're a AAA person.
I'm really not sure [where Nintendo Power placed, in terms of circulation], but it certainly was up there. Because Nintendo Power didn't accept advertising, we weren't audited, and in order to be formally ranked -- like being a public company or something -- you needed to be audited by one of those companies that keeps track and keeps people honest for ad rates. - Nintendo Power founding editor Gail Tilden
Check out the full interview here