The Watercraft Journal By The Numbers: July 2015


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“Why do it?” I was asked at the beginning of the year. “Why keep letting your competition know the magazine’s numbers? Why let them know how you’re doing?” These were fair questions, and frankly, convincing enough to keep me from publishing “By The Numbers” reports for this past November, December and even January. Openly publishing our performance numbers for each month could be seen as blatant bragging, and there are some who’ve accused me of exactly that. Others applaud this monthly tradition as it is so overtly transparent, and transparency is what is so widely lacking in the personal watercraft industry particularly when it comes to its relationship with new media.

This year alone, two publications traded ownership from sole-proprietorships to privately-held publishing/marketing firms. This move changes the paradigm of how content is created, published, and distributed. Do not be surprised when subscription rates increase, content begins to sway from the core of the sport, and how often these sites are updated. Why, you might ask? Because the personal watercraft industry is incredibly small, and larger publishing firms will want to expand the range of their latest acquisitions to access a larger market. Standup paddle boards, wakeboarding, diving, and surfing are all on the table, and poised to dilute these publications.

The Watercraft Journal, on the other hand, will remain solely focused on personal watercraft. All content will remain relevant to our industry. This is a promise. This is our commitment. Sure, it means we’ll remain a niche publication that is both free to the reader and without any sort of passwords, log ins, or downloads in order to read. Oh, and you can also expect that The Watercraft Journal won’t double as a storefront, fraudulently praising products in sham reviews to best hock its wares. And yes, we’ve even given less-than-glowing reviews to products supplied by own advertisers. You can bet they weren’t too happy about it, but at least we’re honest.

Today is a big day because this installment of “By The Numbers” is – as we see it – a huge milestone not only for this publication, but for our whole industry. Not only did The Watercraft Journal reach a massive number of readers this month, both new and old, but has secured itself as a resource of information found nowhere else. Our readership reflect that public interest in personal watercraft is at an all-time high. We know that new watercraft sales are mounting, and the aftermarket is flush with product – far more so than in the last 5 years. Our exorbitant (and continued) leap in readership is an indicator of this growth as whole, and data coming from throughout our industry echoes this. These are truly exciting times.

July 2015
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Who Is Reading The Watercraft Journal?
If you own a company in the PWC industry and are not yet advertising, you are literally robbing yourself access to the single-largest audience in our industry. Just because you have an active Facebook page or a few sponsored racers that tag you in Instagram posts does not directly translate into sales. Yes, you’re “brand building” to a select group of followers, but you’re not reaching everyone that you could. And yes, readers of The Watercraft Journal buy the products we review. We have the testimonials to prove it. Imagine what access to an additional 30,000-plus potential clients could do for your business!

June
Total number unique readers: 25,510*
Total number of articles read: 54,077
Percentage of new readers: 68.6%

July
Total number unique readers: 31,543*
Total number of articles read: 67,887
Percentage of new readers: 68.5%

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

What Are They Reading?
Advertisers on The Watercraft Journal aren’t just buying ad space, because digital ads simply aren’t enough. No, our advertisers receive a comprehensive package that includes ads and uniquely developed, professionally-written content found nowhere else. This level of editorial support provides our readers fresh, entertaining and informative content about your products. Don’t dish out your hard-earned money for a half page ad in a dwindling print rag, hoping that it’ll grab the eye of a would-be customer – put your company in front of more potential customers more often with The Watercraft Journal.

News articles published in June: 23
Feature articles published in June: 15
Total feature word count: 12,477 words*

News articles published in July: 24
Feature articles published in July: 14
Total feature word count: 13,065 words*

*When this number is translated to print publication standards equals a 112-page magazine. Please note that this number does not include an average of two uniquely-written news articles published daily.

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Where Do They Find The Watercraft Journal?
Yes, there are Facebook pages out there with a lot more “Likes” than ours. There are some pushing really hard to catch up with ours as well. But here’s the cold reality: “Likes” don’t equal readers, and they definitely don’t equal sales. And often, the “Likes” that do exist are from persons who aren’t likely customers. Above you’ll see our Facebook page’s “Fans vs. Engagements” percentages. Marketers will vow that “engagements” are the true indicators of your Facebook page, not “Likes.” And you’ll see that our Top 3 targeted demographics (engaged) are primarily 25-to-54 years old, and predominantly male – just like your customers. The Watercraft Journal is read by more likely customers, and our engagement proves it.

July Facebook readers: 13,694
July Facebook weekly reach: 15,084
Top Five countries: United States, Australia, United Arab Emirates, France, United Kingdom

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
The sharp-eyed reader will note a substantial jump in our June to July readership (of 6,000 readers). While we’d be content to maintain that number for the rest of the riding season, we’re certain that August and September will likely surpass July. Why? Yamaha will be unveiling their 2016 models in a few short weeks – vehicles we’ve already ridden and reviewed. The conclusion of the 2015 AquaX USA series is nearing, as is the Pro Watercross Tour. Sea-Doo will be drawing back the curtain on possibly its most exciting lineup of runabouts yet, and RIVA Racing will have heavily modified versions of Yamaha and Sea-Doo’s latest skis for us to gawk at. And let’s not forget the Grayland Open, Blowsion Surf Slam and IJSBA World Finals in October. There is no time to waste, email kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com about advertising your company in the single-most popular PWC magazine since Splash today!

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Kevin Shaw

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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