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Editorial calendar season indicates growth

It’s that time of year when a blizzard of editorial calendars hits the Vocus inbox. So far this year, we’ve already collected more editorial calendars than we had at the same time last year. But this is more than just good news for our goals. Not only do editorial calendars give us a glimpse as to what editors are planning to cover in 2013, but they also serve as an indicator of where the industry is heading and its overall health.

Although some might see the end of the digital-only Nomad magazine editions as bad news for tablet publications and print media, a comparison with past State of the Media Reports suggests a more robust future. Our quarterly State of the Media Report for Q3 2011 shows 24 magazine closures. This year, Q3 showed only 15 closures. Not only are fewer magazines shuttering, but many are launching. Mr. Magazine’s Launch Monitor spotted 78 magazine launches in November and 100 in October of this year, indicative of a stabilized and growing magazine industry. In our experience, many publications appear more prepared to send out editorial calendars than they were last year, which may indicate publishers are feeling more confident they’ll be sticking around.

During last year’s editorial calendar season, we found an uptick in ad rates were a possible indicator of the industry’s recovering health. This year also provides some interesting insight, especially in comparison to recent years. For example, we reported last year that Commercial Building Products charged $6,810 for a full page color ad in 2011, but increased to $7,015 for 2012. However, for 2013, the rate will remain at $7,015. In contrast, Today’s Parent has continued its trend of steadily increasing rates each year from $35,856 in 2010 to its current rate of $37,307. So while we might not be seeing increases across the board like we did last year, it’s interesting to see that growth has curtailed in certain areas and continued in others.

Taken as a whole, our editorial calendars and the data provided paint a stronger picture for publications than in prior years. Publishers appear to be looking to the future with eager eyes and their feet on more stable ground.

–Nicholas Testa

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