How healthy is the magazine industry? In terms of new launches, it depends who’s counting.
The number of U.S. and Canadian magazines increased from 14,178 to 15,672—roughly 10 percent—between 2002 and 2007, according to the National Directory of Magazines 2008 released this week. (The numbers appear to be less than those of the Magazine Publishers of America, which count 1,883 new magazines between 2002 and 2006.)
Bridal magazines increased 96 percent (from 69 to 135), the fastest growing segment of the magazine market, according to the directory. Regional magazines—the largest number in any category—increased 51 percent (754 to 1138) during the five year period.
“Niche magazines are becoming more targeted. New bridal magazines, for example, are pitched to different areas of the country, ethnic groups, celebrities, and even to men,” says publisher Trish Hagood.
“Home” magazines (up 57 percent), “ethnic” (52 percent), “baby” magazines (44 percent) and celebrity titles (40 percent) all showed healthy increases according to the directory.
Magazine categories that declined in number were internal publications, down 76 percent (from 186 to 45); and environmental magazines, down 34 percent (from 252 to 166), over the last five years.
Smaller publishers curious if they made the directory may have to take our word for it: The National Directory of Magazines 2008 is priced at $995 for the print edition, $1,195 for a single-user CD and $1,995 for both. It is also available online as part of an online database service at $1,295 per year, or $795 for six months.