Regional Magazines a Print Bastion against Online

July 5, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Local & Directories / Small Biz | Magazines

City and regional magazines might be smaller than their B2B and mainstream consumer counterparts, but they have yet to be seriously confronted by the online threat and so are flourishing, according to Folio:’s second annual City and Regional Publishing Survey.

Some findings from Folio:’s survey:

  • Most city and regional publishers are single-title publishers:
    • 45% of survey respondents say they publish one magazine, unchanged from 2006.
    • Some 23% say they publish two titles, compared with 19% in 2006
    • 12% say they publish 4-6 titles, compared with 10% in 2006.
  • Circulation remains relatively small:
    • Among the group of publishers with a mean circulation of 36,600 for their smallest titles, 34% said circulation was 20,000-39,999, and 21% said their smallest title’s circulation was in the 10,000-19,999 range.
    • Among the group with a mean circulation of 64,900 for their largest titles, 28% report that their largest-circulation title’s circulation is 20,000-39,999.
    • 21% of survey respondents say their smallest title has a circulation of 10,000-19,999, and 12% say their smallest title has fewer than 10,000 readers.
    • 16% say their largest title falls in the 40,000-60,000 range, and 6% say their largest title has fewer than 10,000 readers.
    • 6% of respondents say their smallest title has circulation of 100,000 or more, whereas 14% say their largest title has 100,000 or more readers.
    • Paid circulation (including newsstand) constitutes the majority of city and regional circulation, followed by “controlled, not requested” and then “controlled requested”:
      • 22% said “controlled not requested” is their major source of circulation
      • 14% said “controlled requested” is the major source of circulation, compared with 9% who said so in 2006. 

Revenue continues to grow, according to the Folio: survey:

  • Nearly half of respondents (48%) say their revenues have increased in last three years, 14% say they have remained flat, and only 2% say revenues have fallen. About a quarter – 23% – say their publication is less than three years old.
  • Some 86% said print was their largest revenue source, compared with about 87% in 2004 and 2005.
  • Paid subscriptions accounted for 8.9% of revenue in 2006, down from 9.7% in 2004, while electronic-media revenue increased to 1.9% in 2006 from 1.5% in 2005.
  • Publication revenue:
    • 12% of publishers say they anticipate revenue from their largest publication to be less than $100,000 in 2007
    • 10% say $100,000-$249,000.
    • 10% say $250,000-$499,000.
    • 10% say $750,000-$999,000.
    • 10% say $1 million-$2.9 million.
  • Organizational revenue:
    • 25% of respondents say their company revenues will fall between $1 million and $2.9 million in 2007.
    • 10% say $3 million to $4.9 million.
    • 10% say between $250,000 and $499,000.
    • The mean anticipated revenue overall is $4.5 million.

About the study: Data were collected via mail survey by Readex Research Feb. 15 to March 29, 2007 from Folio: subscribers who classified their company’s primary focus as city/regional publishing.

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