Whoa. Where did summer go? We’re so turned around that we’re literally five days late on publishing this month’s episode of “By The Numbers.” That’s literally the latest we’ve ever been in our four years of publishing these articles. That’s pretty impressive (and a little embarrassing). If you’ve been paying attention lately, there’s been quite a few changes in our little industry that should make you pretty excited: over the past 12 months, the personal watercraft industry has experienced a growth explosion 3-to-4 times greater than previous projections with an incredible 11-percent in new unit sales.
This double-digit gain was felt by all three major manufacturers: Sea-Doo rose 6-percent in sales, Kawasaki an impressive 11-percent (thanks in large part to the introduction the 4-stroke SX-R), and Yamaha who shot up 18-percent in new sales. Most impressive is that 48-percent of total new vehicle sales went to first-time buyers. You won’t find that kind of growth anywhere else in the powersport market, be it motorcycles, snowmobiles or otherwise. And of the Top 3 sellers, behind Sea-Doo’s Trixx and 3up Sparks, was Yamaha’s EX Sport. Toss in Sea-Doo’s GTI, a couple other Spark models, Yamaha’s other EX and VX models, and you’ve got a strong entry-market.
Well, except for the GP1800. That’s right, Yamaha’s reinterpretation of the heralded GP moniker was so successful that it not only broke into the Top 10 highest selling PWC for 2017, but also nabbed 6th place. (And if you’re wondering how it fared among other supercharged units, the GP1800 out-sold the Sea-Doo RXP-X 300 two-to-one). What does all of this add up to, you ask? A major influx of new “neophite” PWC enthusiasts and a strong presence of performance enthusiasts who are looking for thrills – all great news for all of us looking to educate, entertain, and provide service these new and returning customers.
And The Watercraft Journal has been on the job, as well. As noted in articles like these and appreciated by the diehard reader, we have streamlined our layout in recent weeks. Doing so has improved load speeds, improved accessibility to our content on a wider array of devices and services, decreased scrolling, and expanded our breadth of content. Race coverage? We doubled it and expanded our reach to smaller, more regional events. Multimedia? The Watercraft Journal publishes new articles everyday as well as two videos a month – all entirely free to you. How about industry news? We’ve got inside access to all the latest watercraft, accessories and equipment. And we’re not slowing down…
When Less is More
A funny thing happened in August 2017; we brought in slightly less new or one-time readers, but maintained almost exactly the same amount of page views (meaning, how many articles they read). What does that mean? That our new reformatting allowed for readers to peruse and explore the magazine in greater ease and with increased interest. We’ve been watching a change in our readership and we’re making efforts to accommodate accordingly. Sure, our massive swathe of content has only increased, but the manner in which we provide and deliver said content is fluid. We get it, you’re using your phones to read articles, and we’re making it easier to do so. We’ve cleaned up the page with less clutter so you can devour the story, and scroll through the image galleries at the very end. Video? Same thing. You won’t find it breaking up your read.
Total number readers: 35,853*
Total number of articles read: 66,095
Percentage of new readers: 67.3%
*This number is considered equal to an individual sale of a single copy of a magazine.
Content From Every Corner
Maybe it was because we opened our doors to local, regional racing coverage. Maybe it was because we not only had the full reveal of the 2018 Yamaha WaveRunner lineup, but also leaks on what Sea-Doo’s got coming and spied photos of the 2018 Kawasaki lineup. Or maybe it was all of the product reviews we had. But what August meant for us was the single-largest month for full-length feature articles that we’ve had in years. (It also means one of the most expensive. Why? Because unlike other PWC magazines, we pay our contributors for their submitted work.) All-in-all, we produced enough originally-written content in August to fill a 178-page magazine – that is if we charged our readers to print anything (which we don’t). Rather, all of that content was published digitally and made entirely free to our readers.
News articles published in August 2017: 19
Feature articles published in August 2017: 17
Total feature word count: 17,469 words*
*When this number is translated to print publication standards equals a 178-page magazine. Please note that this number does not include an average of two uniquely-written news articles published daily.
Taking it To The Streets
As stated above, The Watercraft Journal is working hard to bring its industry-leading content directly to the personal watercraft enthusiast wherever they may be; be it at home, the office or wandering aimlessly while staring at their phone. Our break-neck publishing schedule brings the latest event coverage, product evaluations, hands-on watercraft reviews, and more to more readers than anywhere else – and now we’re dishing out two doses of uniquely-created YouTube videos every month. Add to that unique access to PWCTrader’s search engine of used and pre-owned personal watercraft as well as our own T-shirts and decals in our all-new store, and you’ve got quite a bit to check out! And if that’s not enough, we’re constantly flooding your Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram feeds, and your inbox with our weekly newsletters. If you’re not already following us, subscribed to our channels, or otherwise, you’re missing out big time.
This Should Come as No Surprise
For those not currently advertising with The Watercraft Journal, let us say, “We get it.” Media is ever changing, and quite frankly, how does one even know if your ad is making any sort of impact? Your uncertainties are not unique and you are not alone. If you’ve got questions, simply ask! We have all of the experience and data to back up our answers. We want you to succeed and we can’t do that if we’re not working together. Companies who partner with The Watercraft Journal and actively engage in an aggressive media campaign, find almost instantaneous results. Those who join but do little to nothing might see some marginal success, but nothing like the former. To help you reach a broader audience of would-be customers and spread the word about your brand, product and services, The Watercraft Journal must be a resource, a tool in building your brand. If you’re ready for that, email firstname.lastname@example.org about advertising your company in the single-most popular PWC magazine today.