HOPE in the Midst of all the Bad News… New Magazine Launches are UP

January 28, 2009

I will leave it up to other media reporters and critics to report the bad news of our industry. As for me, I will continue to be the bearer of good news, and talking of good news I am glad to report that the number of new magazines launched in 2008 has exceeded that of 2007 by two titles. Our final tally of new magazine launches reveal that in 2008 a total of 715 new magazines were launched compared with 713 in 2007. Of note is that this number exceeds all predictions (including mine) that the number of new launches in 2008 will be down. Of more interest is the number of new launches 20 years ago totaled 491 new magazines. Of course, for those of us with short memories, there was no internet in 1988.
While the number of magazines published with a 4X frequency or more continues to witness declines in the last few years, the number of annuals and specials are on an increase. Publishers are finding solace in all those book-a-zines in which the cover price ranges from $9.95 to $14.95. Even the annuals have taken a back seat to all those specials that have no frequency commitment (lovingly referred to in our industry as one-shots).

The chart below illustrates the breakdown of titles in 1988, 2007 and 2008.


For those who need the exact breakdown, here are the numbers for 1988, 2007 and 2008:
Annual: 157, 21, 22
4x or more: 290, 243, 217
Special: 44, 422, 456
Total: 491, 713 , 715

And if that is not enough to give you some hope, take a look at the chart below to see the number of new magazine launches during the last 20 years and how did we fare in this business.

So, the next time you hear or read about yet one more magazine beating the dust, just in keep in mind that it is not all bad out there. It is just so hard when the times are tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can only see the train coming. I hope the charts above will act as a reminder that it is much better to “light a candle rather than curse the dark.”


  1. So, we have “hope” now in the magazine world. What will be the widespread “change” in this historic year? will it be in digital magazines, social networking, new ways of finding readerships, advertising??? do tell…please! 😉

  2. Hi Samir,
    Finally some signs of encouragement but I suspect that there will be a lag time and this will drop off for 2009. Is there a monthly breakdown too? I’m assuming that this is from US data – it would be interesting to compare this with our market in the UK.

  3. […] Samir Husni at MrMagazine.com notes that “magazine” titles are up in 2008 and 2009 from …. However, if you only count titles that are published 4x/year or more often, there has been a clear decline. What has made up for it are the special issues and editions published under magazine brands. […]

  4. I also just launched a brand new magazine called GLADYS MAGAZINE in January 2009. http://www.gladysmagazine.com
    Gladys Magazine is a quarterly magazine and online source dedicated to helping busy women of all ages create & inspire change. Our editorial philosophy is one of positive encouragement and motivation. We will offer inspiring articles to enrich our reader’s lives and we will contribute what’s hip in fashion, beauty, travel and luxury products. It is dedicated to anyone who has been inspired to pursue their dreams by someone they love.
    I am the Editor and Publisher at this time. We have seen even in this economy overwhelming response to our magazine. We feel it is based on content and the inspiring stories we are printing. Our online subscription base has been tremendous but our reader feedback is one that they still want to hold the printed magazine.
    Andrea Patrick Forte
    Editor in Chief
    Gladys Magazine

  5. […] visit site […]

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