Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Second quarter revenues were $3.1 million, expenses were $4 million and net loss after tax was $884,136.This compares with the previous year's second quarter results of $2.8 million, expenses of $3.9 million and a loss of $696,299.
Zoomer is published nine times a year, aimed at a mature market, which ZoomerMedia defines as aged 45+. The company claims paid circulation of 180,000 and is estimated to sell about 12,000 on newsstands.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
This is an important consideration for magazines considering major investments in creating mobile-enabled versions of their publications. Looked at another way, there's lots of room for growth, though web-access seems more likely on netbooks and tablets than on the teeny screens of cellphones.
*About 70% of Canadians 16-60 own cellphones, well down the league tables and lowest among G8 countries and comparable with Vietnam and Mexico. [TSN Canadian Facts] (This couldn't have anything to do with the Canadian pricing of cellphone service and texting, could it...?)
- Total operating revenues for the periodical publishing industry reached $2.39 billion in 2008, up 1.2% from 2007. Operating expenses totalled $2.10 billion, up 0.1% from a year earlier. As a result, overall operating profit margins increased to 12.3% from 11.3% in 2007.
- Just under thirty percent of industry operating expenses were spent on salaries, wages and benefits, which rose 3.4%to $620.7 million.
- The ten largest publishing companies accounted for just over half of industry operating revenues ($1.34 billion), and 79% of industry profits. These companies recorded an operating profit margin of 17.4%, up from 16.2% in 2007. By comparison, the remaining companies posted a operating profit margin of 5.9%in 2008, up from 4.8% the previous year.
- Firms located in Ontario and Quebec accounted for the majority of the industry’s operating revenues. Ontario firms accounted for 58.1% of total operating revenues in 2008. Quebec firms accounted for 22.2%, while those in the Prairies represented 10.3%.
- Average spending on periodicals was very stable, around $60 per household, from 1999 to 2005.
- Average spending on periodicals which had been steady around $60 per household, from 1999 to 2005 declined to $47 per household between 2006 and 2008, according to Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending.
New company responsible for research and compilation of Globe's Canadian University Report
Since the very first post, it's been our intention to share information with people as interested in the magazine industry as we are. We've been resolutely Canadian while publishing links to information from around the world that provides intelligence or example to Canadian publishers. Our site traffic has grown steadily, from virtually none to more than 25,000 page views a month today, which is very satisfying.
To mark the occasion, we're republishing a couple of the very earliest posts that started it all. (At the time I wrote them, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.)
February 25, 2005
A response to a recent column in Masthead magazine (Hooked on controlled), in which a veteran circulation manager says controlled circulation is the devil's work:
Like Scott Bullock, I am partial to the traditional paid circulation model, but unlike him I don’t see it as more virtuous or worthy than controlled. Most magazines are in the business of selling readership to advertisers. The central issue for most publishers is identifying and capturing a good audience and being able to prove its existence to the satisfaction of the advertisers. In this, controlled can work every bit as well as paid, sometimes better (after all, a paid audience is self-selecting). Controlled circulation was the inevitable, and elegant answer, to the question: how do we reach and deliver an audience that our best customers, the advertisers, want to pay for?....
February 27, 2005(Some wishful thinking on what seemed then to be a distant possibility then but which is gradually coming to pass -- with the admission of b2b publishers to Magazines Canada, the closer collaboration of MC with the National Magazine Awards and the Canadian Business Press, and the ascendancy of one annual industry conference in MagNet.)
The division of the Canadian magazine industry into several different associations -- consumer magazines, for trade, for editors, for the magazine awards, for circulators, for newsstand marketers -- has always been easy to understand, but difficult to justify. It is quite possible for disparate groups to gather in one place -- witness the Creating Canada conference in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago. But maintaining that collegiality and focus seems to be the issue.
With the likely change of name of the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association to Magazines Canada come this June, comes also a first rate opportunity for the creation of a more realistic alignment of the various organizations. Magazines Canada has the potential to be the umbrella organization for all kinds of magazines and magazine organizations. The inclusive name could be inclusive in fact.
The merger of Magazines Canada with the CMPA appeared to be achieved relatively painlessly, at least from an outside perspective. With this, the organization that used to promote the larger consumer magazines continued its promotional role but now on behalf of all consumer magazines, including the predominantly smaller members of the CMPA.
There is no obvious reason why such an umbrella can't cut similar and appropriate deals with almost any existing organization, as it has with the National Magazine Awards Foundation....
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Magazine world view: No Magic at Ebony; GQ.com relaunches; East-West closes; Dow wants to buy other half of SmartMoney
- Magic Johnson's bid to buy Ebony and Jet publishers falls through (Folio:)
- Reader's Digest emerges from Chapter 11 (Folio:}
- Active Interest Media buys nine equine magazines, seven web sites (Audience Development)
- U.S. and U.K. ABCs partner for international product report (Audience Development)
- Murdoch's paywalls are 'antithetical to everything' claims Guardian's Rusbridger (Brand Republic)
- GQ.com relaunches with simpler navigation (Brand Republic)
- Magazine editor paid damages after Take A Break slur (Press Gazette)
- Teen magazine's 'War' issue is stellar (Utne Media Blog)
- Haymarket's Autosport magazine launches e-paper version (paidContent)
- Dow Jones in negotiations with Hearst to buy remaining half of SmartMoney (paidContent)
- East West Magazine to close, again (Audience Development)
Labels: world view
Adbusters imitates the Economist...again
I was at Indigo today and was briefly fooled by this Economist look-alike by Adbusters. They were racked together in the Current Affairs section, with Zoomer between, so the consumer gets a pretty good side-by-side comparison. I wondered how Adbusters knew what the Economist was going to run, but I guess they were banking on the design being similar to the 2009 issue, or the Economist special issue's been out long enough that Adbusters could see it before going into production.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
It will celebrate Jews making an impact on our great city and the traditions and lifestyles that continue to bond Toronto’s historic, growing, thriving and passionate Jewish community.
- Robin and Arlene Karpan won gold for best Landscape/Seascape photography (“Sandland,” March 2009)
- Lisa Gregoire for best Budget Travel article (“Hut spot,” November 2008).
- Douglas Hunter, Patricia Pearson and Dawn Calleja won a merit award for their volunteer vacation features in the Travel Series, Circulation Less Than 250,000 category
- A merit awards also went to the November 2008 issue -- Canadian Geographic Travel -- in the Travel Magazine category (second only to National Geographic Traveler).
- Cover Photo, Illustration - Andre Doyon, Spafax
- Consumer Tips & Advice - Kate Pocock, CAA Magazine
- Destination Travel, Domestic Magazine – Michael DeFreitas, Ensemble Vacations
- Byline Travel Column, Less than 250,000 – John Lee, BC Business Magazine
- Travel Series, More than 250,000 – Ilana Weitzman, Alec Scott, Charlene Rooke, Spafax
- Photography, Overall Excellence - John Cullen, Spafax
It’s about time ASME recognized Wintour [says Jason Fell of Folio:]. She joins fellow Hall of Fame inductees including Hugh Hefner, Martha Stewart, Tina Brown and Jann Wenner.
Declining to confirm exactly when Twitter would release the platform, Anamitra Banerji, head of product management and monetization at Twitter, told MediaPost ...that "we are working on an ad platform, but it's only in the test phase."There is a suggestion that Twitter may use hash tags in tweets to indicate that the message is an ad.
Banerji said when Twitter launches an ad platform, the company will make it "explicitly clear that a sponsor" paid for the ad, and make it "relevant and useful, so the user doesn't think of it as an ad."
Banerji called the hash tag ads a "workaround," for now. Twitter engineers have a better idea what will and won't work, he said.
Friday, February 19, 2010
"Advertising in a magazine like ours allows readers to examine the advertising with a depth they can't in any other medium," Chafe said. "And more than anything, our readers, who are [advertisers'] potential clients, don't see advertising as an intrusion on their life. They digest it at their own pace and on their own time and it stays with them longer....Clients often step back from really courageous creative and say, ‘Let's play it safe,' so it may not have the impact it might have had," Chafe said. "But it's written into the contest rules that, if you're submitting, you're relinquishing some of that control."
A chance conversation with Sean Charters, vice president and managing partner of Colour-NL, revealed a shared lamentation for the forgotten beauty of print – and sparked a mutual determination to turn things around. The resulting plan, fully developed in less than 60 minutes, is a testament to Charters’ hyper-creative mind, and my own lesser talents as a prolific note taker.
You can look at a funny promo video for the relaunch, read the editor John Mulholland on the re-launch and see a video of the paper's writers talking about what the paper means to them.
Looked at from the perspective of Canada, which doesn't offer a true Sunday quality newspaper, it makes me pine a little for the opportunity. And it is interesting that, far from panicking in the face of the oft-professed but unproven claims of the death of print, the Guardian Media Group is resolutely investing in the future.
[Thanks to MagCulture.com for the images.]
“Yes, I like beavers, the animals, just as much as anybody else,” Reid said recently. “It’s a historic creature, it’s on our nickel, it’s a proud part of the fur trade. But in the 21st century, if you are going to rebrand your entire organization, including all that you do, ‘beaver’ is probably not going to be the word that best speaks to what you do, if you know what I mean.”
Two examples of how playing well with others seems to be an endangered concept
Magazine world view: Continuing Variety; Playboy up; Lotsa launches
- Reed Elsevier reaffirms that Variety will be ‘retained’ (Folio:)
- New magazine launches: A big January 2010 comeback (Mr. Magazine)
- RBI profits down 35% in 2009 (Press Gazette)
- Playboy magazine swings to profit in fourth quarter (Folio:)
- The benefits of Twitter for B-to-B media brands (Folio:)
- Gay rights group criticises PCC after Jan Moir/Stephen Gately decision (Guardian)
- Custom Publishing Council "updates" name to Custom Content Council (Folio:)
- Reader's Digest UK placed into administration (Press Gazette)
- 25 ways to get over creativity block (Utne Media blog)
- Transcontinental sells U.S. direct mail group to IWCO Direct (Audience Development)
Labels: world view
"I was looking out for Style to relaunch but it never happened," [Walker] said. "I was getting calls from retailers and advertisers asking me what was going on with Style and telling me there was a real need in the industry for a publication. So I thought, ‘Why not start a brand new magazine and give the people what they want?' "
"Perhaps down the road I might make it a subscription online service, but right now it's about building the brand," [said Walker].
Thursday, February 18, 2010
"We believe that things like the Kindle (and) iPad are probably going to take anywhere from five to 20 per cent of the printed market away . . . in the next couple of years, so it's a big big big thing for us," Olivier said.
"Transcontinental was born out of change."
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
“These awards will showcase the excellence of Canadian writers,” said PWAC President Tanya Gulliver. “Our goal is for these awards to eventually become some of Canada’s premier prizes for writing. PWAC is Canada’s largest organization representing freelance writers, and our awards will celebrate that.”Entry requirements are detailed here.
Entries must have been published in a paying Canadian print or web media outlet in 2009. The first prize in each category has a $500 value, including a free PWAC membership for a year (if eligible).
The company's release noted that media operating expenses had also been brought down by 5%, but after various restructuring expenses and other extraordinary adjustments, operating profit had dropped $69 million from $142 million in 2008 to $73 million in 2009.
For Rogers Communications as a whole, including its cable and wireless business, which dominates company results, adjusted operating profit was up 8% from $4.060 million to $4,388 million. Income per share increased 27% to $2.51. The 10% increase in the companies annual dividend met analysts' expectations, as did the $1.35 billion share buyback.
"Against a tough economic backdrop, we delivered solid financial and operating results during the fourth quarter," said Nadir Mohamed, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers Communications Inc. "Importantly, the results show a healthy balance of growth, cost control, improved churn and a double-digit increase in cash flow generation."
"2009 was a solid year for Rogers, we returned increasing amounts of cash to shareholders and we delivered on our commitments," continued Mr. Mohamed. "Looking ahead, we are extremely well positioned with a terrific asset mix and strong customer demand for our products and services. The dividend increase and the renewal of our share buyback program for 2010 underline our continued confidence in the strategic position of the Company."
Wired magazine and Adobe Systems have unveiled a tablet application of the Wired Reader. It was not a CGI demo or simulation, but ran more or less with real content with real copy, created with Adobe InDesign.
Much is still to be answered about magazines and other media on this emerging class of devices, from the business and distribution models to the consumer response. But what is already clear is that they offer the opportunity to be beautiful, highly engaging and immersive, going beyond what’s available on the web. I think tablets are going to sell like hotcakes, in part because they offer such an intimate, rich media experience. We’re betting big on them, as you can see, but this is just a taste. Stay tuned for a full release this summer.
"Edouard Cointreau made me deliver the acceptance speech in French," said Lamielle, an adamant anglophone who was raised in North Vancouver and now lives in Calgary.
Like most things, Kitchen Scraps was conceived in the Spring. Swerve Magazine is a weekly listings magazine (but it is so much more than just listings) that comes out every Friday with the Calgary Herald.While I was working at the newspaper as a designer and illustrator, the always innovative and inspiring editor of Swerve, Shelley Youngblut, asked me if I would be interested in writing an illustrated food column for Easter.“Just do whatever you like, have a recipe and draw something lurveley… and have [it] ready on Monday.”
Some samples of his recipes and accompanying illustrations can be found at http://kitchenscraps.wordpress.com/
Monday, February 15, 2010
The magazine is very much a family affair. The publisher is Inspiring Media Inc., a private company based in Niagara-on-the-Lake.) The editor is Beckie Fox, formerly editor of Canadian Gardening. Advertising sales are being handled by Katherine Fox, her daughter. And in the background is Beckie's husband, Michael Fox, senior vice-president circulation and development for Rogers Publishing.
The magazine's art director is Gary Hall, former deputy art director of Maclean's, who has taught editorial design for the past four years at the Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCAD).
In his website, Cran wrote that, "I didn't think they would appreciate a reading of the one Olympic poem I had written on equality called In Praise of Female Athletes Who Were Told No, for the 14 female ski jumpers petitioning to be included in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver."
Cran said not only is this an "unjust attack on free speech" but Vanoc is misrepresenting Vancouver, which has a "strong history of political activism."
In the shadow of the Second World War, the magazine was founded by a few Fredericton writers trying to get a sense of the local writing community and who hoped they just might meet writers in other places.
"When The Fiddlehead began, I think there was a sense that Canadian literature didn't mean a lot, it didn't have any cohesive energy. The writers were feeling very much alone," Leckie, who has edited the journal since 1997, says.
"So the journals began in this very simple way."
"If I'm looking for what's really good in Canadian literature, I'm not going to go to the web, I'm going to go to the top journals. You have to think of it in terms of the reader. If I go on the Internet, I can find a vast amount of literature. But it also means I have to pore through endless gobs of terrible stuff in order to find something useful or interesting. The Fiddlehead is kind of a name that says what you will find in here is of quality."
Friday, February 12, 2010
Story Data Analysis 2/3 from Thoora on Vimeo.
The company said the data could be used to figure out, for example, where to position an article on a page (aiding internal data from Web logs and analytics), how to apportion resources to cover a developing story or even how to follow up on offshoots that you might not have considered. It could help a news organization determine where its individual story ranks against competitors covering the same thing.[thanks for the tip to Kim Pittaway]
CEO Mike Lee said this is the first time that a tool has approached audience sentiment for news at the story level rather than the topic level...."We hope to not just be a quantity aggregator but to actually drive quality to the surface," Lee said.
If you don't believe that beauty is synonymous with ultra-thinness, now is your chance to send a message to those who do. It's all part of a new campaign by NEDIC that takes aim at the fashion and marketing industries, the over-arching message being: Cast responsibly. Retouch minimally.
But it was Photoshop that made altering images routine. It began circumspectly as a program written by Thomas Knoll, who, in the autumn of 1987, was doing in a PhD in computer vision but for fun wrote a program to display images with grey in them on a black-and-white monitor. Knoll called the program Display, writing it on his Mac Plus computer. Then his brother John, who worked at George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic company, which did the visual effects for the Star Wars films, noticed its potential. They collaborated, bought a Macintosh II – capable of displaying colours! – and set to work; the program's name mutated until they hit on Photoshop.There's a dedicated Photoshop Disasters website that compiles visual disasters.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Maintaining a common brand message; how magazines can meet the challenge
Launching a new magazine is always an uphill battle, and an unsettled economy has added to the challenge. In anticipation of better times ahead, we plan to resume publication in fall 2010.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
-- from a posting on Audience DevelopmentThe newsstand sales decline the last two years has been devastatingly steep, but it may have had a long overdue newsstand cleansing effect. Despite the record sales declines there are several reasons to be, at least partially, optimistic that newsstand sales may have bottomed out in the second half of 2009.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
“Postal bills will be increasing by double-digits after April 1. This could be a disincentive for publishers to increase publication frequencies and page counts, especially above the 200 g threshold. It will also make publishers think twice about adding more enclosures in the polybag, particularly if advertisers aren’t willing to shoulder dramatically higher postage costs.”
At the same time, the new program may be an incentive for publishers to print more copies for newsstand distribution, since paid newsstand copies now count towards the grant calculation. “We could see a shift in strategy away from subscriptions to the newsstand, since publishers could elect to spend their grant funds on newsstand promotions,” says Bennet.
The removal of the printed in Canada rule means publishers could shop their printing in the U.S. or overseas and still receive federal funding—impossible before.
If anything good was to come from the collapse of companies like Penton, Cygnus, RBI, Nielsen, Ziff et al it would be that those companies actually disappeared after they collapsed. But what's happening instead is that these print-legacy, bond-selling dinosaurs get back on their feet and just lumber on ... holding on to valuable properties that could actually grow if they were owned by people with more vision and less debt. It's a pity.-- Blogger Paul Conley, commenting on the bankruptcy of Penton Media (formerly Prism, formerly Primedia)
- Reader's Digest Canada remained the largest total paid circulation, albeit with a 7.5% decline from the comparable first six months of 2008. It has a total paid circulation of 763,000
- Canadian Living had a drop of 1% from last year, to 515,357
- Chatelaine declined 11% to a circulation of 507,438; 10% of that was subscriptions and single copy sales dropped 18.4%
- Elle Canada increased subscriptions by 10.7%; Fashion magazine by 8.2%. However Flare lost almost 8% in subs, though increasing single copy sales by 43%
Monday, February 08, 2010
Magazine world view: Fox & marriage; NYT dilemma; shifting Ebony, Jet; falling newsstand
- Washington Post says up to 450,000 Sunday papers delivered in the snow (Politico.com)
- Magazine newsstand sales fall 9.1% in second half of 2009 (NYT)
- "Writing about Fox News is a lot like being married" (Broadcasting and Cable)
- Stop selling scarcity (Buzz Machine)
- NYT's dilemma after son of Jerusalem bureau chief joins Israeli military (Guardian)
- Vanity Fair's Young Hollywood whitewash (Jeff Bercovici; DailyFinance)
- Regional publisher sells one title, shutters two others (Folio:)
- Apple's iPad gives wings to media stocks (Jeff Bercovici; DailyFinance)
- Why many magazine retailers don’t care about Christmas (Mag Nation blog)
- Video: The Iraq War as told through magazine covers (Thousand Yard Stare: Utne Reader)
- Amid Losses, Johnson repositions Ebony and Jet (Folio:)
- Harry Evans on journalism, paywalls and Rupert Murdoch (Guardian)
- Property Week launches first interactive magazine (Press Gazette)
Labels: world view
Feminist art practices focus of C magazine panel
- Elle Flanders, Toronto based filmmaker, photographer, and York University faculty member;
- Jen Hutton, Toronto based artist and writer
- Gabrielle Moser, writer, curator and PhD student in art history and visual culture at York University;
- Helena Reckitt, Senior Curator of Programs at The Power Plant in Toronto;
- Stephanie Rogerson, writer, artist, curator and PhD candidate in Art and Visual Culture at the University of Western Ontario.
- Moderator: C Magazine editor, Amish Morrell
[The] newsletter surveyed subscription data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations for 344 magazines from the first half of 2002 and the first half of 2009. The analysis revealed that the average subscription price per issue fell about 7% over this period, from $1.70 to $1.58, with bigger magazines -- that is, magazines that sold more than 100,000 subscriptions in a six-month period -- lowering their sub price at roughly twice the rate of smaller magazines (10.5% versus 5.4%).CircMatters publisher Jack Hanraham said he was especially concerned about so-called sponsored subscriptions. "The recipient pays nothing for a subscription because the publisher is paid by the sponsor," and about which "we know little... in terms of reader quality and engagement."
Of the 344 titles surveyed, 222 (65%) had a lower subscription price in 2009 than 2002. However, lowering subscription prices generally did not lead to higher sales -- in fact, it was often correlated with lower sales.
[CircMatters]' survey found that of the 222 titles that lowered subscription prices, 164 (75%) also saw individual subscription sales fall, with more than half suffering losses of 20% or more in subscription sales between the first half of 2002 and the first half of 2009.
In a recent speech the British Columbia Association of Magazine Publishers (BCAMP), I spoke to the fact that it may not be readers, but publishers, who are responsible for devaluing magazines:
For generations, we have worked to convince readers that a magazine is worth no more than a high-end greeting card, and sometimes considerably less....Most of us don’t even make the effort to make the case for rational pricing; in fact, we apologize for rate increases, even though our readers well know that in a commercial world, everything goes up, including their incomes. Right now, a typical magazine sells for substantially less than an hour’s labour at minimum wage. It’s little wonder if people don’t value what we do in the way that they should; it has been our doing.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
To have a healthy culture you have to have stable health care financing and stable arts financing and stable sports financing, and if you don’t have that, your culture becomes a parking lot.