[responsive][/responsive]The problem with statistics is that they often provide critical information well after the fact. Trends are easy to spot in hindsight, as we adjust the statistics to suit our reality.
As Mark Twain famously said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.”
If we want to know how fast we drive, we could use the little gizmo from the insurance company to track our behavior over time. But that kind of information will do little to help us avoid a speeding ticket.
Statistics, once removed from immediacy, lose their power to influence immediate behaviors. What if we could get the facts we need to do our jobs in real time, the same way our dashboard tells us when we are speeding?
One industry leader who provides this kind of immediate feedback is Samir Husni (aka “Mr. Magazine”). In his Launch Monitor Husni reports on a monthly (not yearly) basis on new titles in the marketplace, which he feels are the true indication of the health of our industry.
“I’ve always said that the vivacity and life’s blood of the magazine industry is in its new launches, as in ink on paper new launches,” Husni writes in a recent post on his blog. “There is nothing, be it human or otherwise that can continue its species without new birth. And that certainly applies to ink on paper in every way.”
Husni recently announced an addition to his Launch Monitor – yearly comparisons for each month.
“From the Top 10 categories to the Average Cover Price – each month will have the numbers for 2015 and 2014 for you to parallel and consider. The numbers will speak for themselves and the information will be available along with the usual new magazine launches and their covers,” he writes.
So what will this tell us?
We’ll see the categories that are the hottest interest in terms of new launches (January 2015 was heavy in Health and Foods, compared to last year which saw Special Interest and Media Personalities top the list).
This is in addition to the existing information he provides on cover price, frequency, ad pages and other data. Information like this is invaluable to gauging the social pulse and adjusting our own marketing and publishing efforts accordingly.
Real time data is critical to navigating our field, and Mr. Magazine does us all a huge favor in keeping an eye on the magazine nursery.