New Launches are Up By How Much Now?

One of the challenges in the magazine industry is parsing the numbers. Depending on the source, (MPA, Min, PPA, etc.) the stories can vary pretty dramatically. So when we saw this figure cross our desk, we had to take a closer look.

According to Jennifer Hardwick writing in Better Retailing, magazine launches rose by 25% last year, with 195 more titles than in 2015.  Yowza … that’s a big jump.

“New figures from Frontline collected by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) show there were 990 launches last year, representing a five-year high for the sector, and a year-on-year increase of 24.5%,” Hardwick writes.

Those numbers were a bit confusing (was that the UK only? Worldwide? How does it compare to the U.S.?) so we went to our go-to guy in the industry, Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni.

He makes it his business to not only follow industry news but to possess every new magazine published in the U.S. as part of his Launch Report. This is what he has to say:

“My numbers (and the magazines that I do actually have in my possession) show 225 titles with frequency, compared to 233 titles in 2015 (a decrease of 8 titles) and a total of 848 titles in 2016  (including specials, bookazines, annuals, etc.) an increase of 31 more titles than the 817 in 2015.”

Broken out, that’s an increase of around 4% total over 2015. Quite a bit off from the 25%, but still a good showing. More is always good.

One thing Hardwick does get right is the increased focus on niche publications; the move from mass market to niche continues, with even large name publishers moving to tightly niched titles that appeal to advertisers and readers.

We’ll keep an eye on the numbers for 2017; we’re expecting a whole lot of love for indies this year.