Earlier this week, we reported that 279 magazines had closed during the first half of 2009, while 187 new titles had launched. These numbers were compiled by MediaFinder.com, an online database of American and Canadian periodicals.
But yesterday, we received another set of numbers from Vocus Inc., which provides software that tracks the media for public relations professionals. Based on their research, Vocus said that while 154 magazine launched during the first half of this year, 556 magazines had closed.
So which research company was right? Turns out, both. The discrepancy is based on the types of publications each company tracks.
According to Rebecca Bredholt, managing editor for magazines at Vocus, their company tracks a wide variety of magazines, including online publications that are in keeping with the Ameircan Society of Magazine Editor’s guidelines. Vocus also tracks four types of magazines: consumer, news and business, academic journals and trade publications, including newsletters like that of the National Toothpick Holders Collectors’ Society.
MediaFinder’s data seems a little less broad. “We count U.S. and Canadian consumer, trade, and other types of magazines available on the newsstand, or by subscription or controlled circulations,” the company told us via email. “To verify our data, we contact publishers directly. We don’t count one-shots — magazines published only once.”
No matter what the exact numbers, the sentiment is clear: new magazines are still launching despite the economy. But no matter how you slice it, more magazines closed during the first half of 2009 than launched, so the industry is still hurting.
(Photo via Mannobhai’s flickr photostream)