The Watercraft Journal By The Numbers: March 2017


Something big is happening this year. In fact, to those paying attention and simply feel a change coming like it’s floating in on the breeze. Many rack it up to two very significant “game changer” watercraft debuting this race season – specifically the Yamaha GP1800 WaveRunner and the Kawasaki SX-R 1500. Others are noting a sudden boom in local and regional events (be them races or group rides). And lastly, a great many are simply sensing an overall sentiment of optimism for the future, encouraging significant increases in new and used PWC sales. In fact, this more than anything is tilting the landscape; Yamaha is up by double digits, Sea-Doo is reporting a 40-percent increase in boat show sales. Even Kawasaki is pleased with the reception of its new standup.

For The Watercraft Journal, things are looking strong as well. Over the past 9 months, we’ve been paying close attention to who is reading the magazine, how people read the magazine, and how we can improve their experience. Already we’ve improved loading speeds, shortened delays, and made the magazine more cellular/mobile friendly. In fact, we average 60-to-70 percent of our total readership as being via smartphone. And of course, this makes sense. With today’s phones, access to all the world’s information is a few thumb strokes away. Unfortunately, people can’t dedicate the time to reading on a tiny screen so while our readership numbers have been dramatically increasing, we’ve noticed a dip in how long people actually hang around on the magazine. It’s understandable, but we want people to linger a little longer.

Additionally, we’re producing more video content than ever before and will (finally) be offering a selection of T-shirts and stickers in an official online store – expected around the first of summer. It’s been a long time coming but we didn’t want to just plop out a few shirt designs and not be able to meet the demand. We’re finally able to do things right and to our increasingly high standards, so make sure to look out for that. Of course, we’re ramping up our race and event coverage from across the continent and beyond, once again proving why The Watercraft Journal is the world’s most popular (and reliable) personal watercraft magazine.

Below is our monthly “By The Numbers” report showing the world how we perform, who our readers are, and how much content we produce each and every month on a daily basis. Needless to say, this article exists to convince those few remaining advertisers who still want to remain relevant in our ever-changing industry that 1990s are over, and with it the old ways of doing business. If you want to get your brand in front of more would-be customers, it’s time to come where the people are – and that is here, at The Watercraft Journal.

March 2017

March 2016

Watching Where We Go As We Grow
As hinted at above, we’re paying close attention to who is reading The Watercraft Journal and how they’re doing it. Sure, we’re up from last year by over 130-percent. That’s the level of growth we’ve come to expect (not used to seeing that level of growth with other magazine’s and media outlets?). But what interests us are two items: first, you’ll notice our bounce rate has increased, which combined with our increasing mobile readership, makes more sense; yet what we’re happy about is the increase in average pages per session and session duration. What that means is that people are staying longer and reading more articles with each visit than ever before. It’s still not to our liking, but it’s still more than last year (and consequently, the year before that). On every level, The Watercraft Journal is welcoming more and more readers, and at an accelerated, exponential rate. No other magazine is growing as quickly as The Watercraft Journal and that’s just the beginning.

March 2016
Total number unique readers: 22,765*
Total number of articles read: 50,778
Percentage of new readers: 62%

March 2017
Total number unique readers: 30,877*
Total number of articles read: 59,607
Percentage of new readers: 60%

*This number is considered equal to an individual sale of a single copy of a magazine.

Course Corrections That Prove Consistent Results
Everything must change; whether it is through the undulations of trend and interest, or the application of best practices. We find that over time, very few articles can truly keep the average reader’s attention span that requires more than 8-to-10 minutes to read. It’s a sad reflection on the dwindling attention span of the westernized PWC enthusiast, but something we need to adjust accordingly. Therefore, we’ve found that abbreviating some of our longer full length features and boiling down some of the fat and sinew in an effort to get to the meat of the article helps convey the point faster and more precisely. Because of this new policy of brevity we’re able to retain greater readership and even direct them towards supplementary articles on similar topics rather than having them bounce out of the magazine completely.

News articles published in February 2017: 27
Feature articles published in February 2017: 9
Total feature word count: 8,463 words*

News articles published in February 2017: 26
Feature articles published in February 2017: 10
Total feature word count: 7,869 words*

*When this number is translated to print publication standards equals a 92-page magazine. Please note that this number does not include an average of two uniquely-written news articles published daily.

Giving Everyone an All-Access Pass
You know what sucks? That what we do to put our magazine content in front of as many eyes as possible really isn’t all that hard. But what it does require is a commitment to doing things a certain (a proven way that works, mind you) and to remain consistent and reliable. Other media outlets publish sporadically, leaving many to wonder if they’re still alive and kicking (or not). Others spam their subscribers with dozens of shared posts and pictures but never actually producing content of their own. By offering our content freely and easily – whether it’s via a desktop, a laptop or a portable device, anyone can read our content. And with our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and weekly newsletters, we bring our content directly to our readers so they never need to wonder if we’re still open for business – and neither should you. And that’s a huge part of our success!

March Facebook likes: 21,368
Top Five countries: United States, Australia, Canada, France, United Kingdom

Welcome to the party, pal!
For our loyal readers, they know that this is little more than a glorified sales pitch. (Why lie?) And admittedly, it becomes a little tiring to keep banging on the same doors of the same companies who choose to hold out. For the very few companies choosing not to place their products and services in front of the largest readership of any PWC enthusiast magazine in the world, chances are that they’re doing it for emotional reasons – not smart business sense. For those who do, they place their wares in the one media outlet who welcomes over a third of a million annual readers. That’s a radical decision to make, particularly when you’re weighing the future of their company and their employee’s salaries. Look at the numbers. We’re not lying. In fact, do a quick search on our magazine’s search widget and look up all of our monthly reports. You’ll know first hand that we’re continually growing onward and upward. If you your company and products on The Watercraft Journal it’s not that hard. To inquire more about advertising with The Watercraft Journal, please email kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com
Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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