HOPE in the Midst of all the Bad News… New Magazine Launches are UPJanuary 28, 2009
I will leave it up to other media reporters and critics to report the bad news of our industry. As for me, I will continue to be the bearer of good news, and talking of good news I am glad to report that the number of new magazines launched in 2008 has exceeded that of 2007 by two titles. Our final tally of new magazine launches reveal that in 2008 a total of 715 new magazines were launched compared with 713 in 2007. Of note is that this number exceeds all predictions (including mine) that the number of new launches in 2008 will be down. Of more interest is the number of new launches 20 years ago totaled 491 new magazines. Of course, for those of us with short memories, there was no internet in 1988.
While the number of magazines published with a 4X frequency or more continues to witness declines in the last few years, the number of annuals and specials are on an increase. Publishers are finding solace in all those book-a-zines in which the cover price ranges from $9.95 to $14.95. Even the annuals have taken a back seat to all those specials that have no frequency commitment (lovingly referred to in our industry as one-shots).
The chart below illustrates the breakdown of titles in 1988, 2007 and 2008.
For those who need the exact breakdown, here are the numbers for 1988, 2007 and 2008:
Annual: 157, 21, 22
4x or more: 290, 243, 217
Special: 44, 422, 456
Total: 491, 713 , 715
And if that is not enough to give you some hope, take a look at the chart below to see the number of new magazine launches during the last 20 years and how did we fare in this business.
So, the next time you hear or read about yet one more magazine beating the dust, just in keep in mind that it is not all bad out there. It is just so hard when the times are tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can only see the train coming. I hope the charts above will act as a reminder that it is much better to “light a candle rather than curse the dark.”