Number of Magazines Has Grown to Pre-Recession Levels

David Pilcher, in the Freeport Press blog, graphs the numbers of magazines that are published in America.  For those of us who make our living creating, managing or selling something connected to print magazines, we’re always looking for news to counter-act the people who think magazines are dead, or soon will be.  The number of magazines being published in the United States has hovered around 7,200 since 2008.

What the graph doesn’t show, though, is the total circulation for these titles.  Many magazines, especially the large mass-audience magazines, are delivering far few magazines than they did 10 years ago.  So the bad news might be that total magazine circulation is down. The good news, though, is that more magazines have been successful expanding their brands through digital means. And many magazines have figured out how to get people to pay for their valuable, original online content.

We can take heart knowing that most magazines are NOT mass-market magazines and haven’t been hit quite as hard with dropping circulation.  Most magazines reach specialized, passionate audiences.  And they love the magazines they read.  Like radio, vinyl records and movies in theaters, magazines are not dying. They might be changing, but I expect they will be there to serve enthusiastic audiences for years to come.