The Watercraft Journal By The Numbers: November 2016


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November is consistently our worst month. Not only is there not a whole heck of a lot to report on, but it’s also the month where enthusiasts across the globe appear the least bit engaged. In the Northern Hemisphere, temperatures have shaken out most of the weekend riders, with only a few diehards and those in more temperate climes being the few remaining holdouts. This is the time where most watercraft are winterized, and as statistics have shown, people begin to pull out their other toys (be them quads, side-by-sides or snowmobiles). In the Southern Hemisphere, while the mercury is on the rise, they’re not in full blown riding season, so it’s still a bit of a transition period. Toss in a few major holidays to boot, and you’re looking at a month where people just aren’t thinking about jumping on their ski.

So, why have we continued to grow from last year to today? There are two major reasons: First, The Watercraft Journal, unlike any other media outlet in our industry, has never skipped a beat. We’re consistently first with late-breaking industry news, event and race coverage. To boot, our race coverage regularly has more images, more information, and usually the full results list, when others either exclude said information, or just hyperlink to the event promoter’s page. Moreover, we publish all of our own material. No regurgitated press releases. No stock photography in lieu of actually photographing the watercraft or product we’re claiming to review. And more importantly, we’re speaking to the largest audience that a personal watercraft magazine has ever had. Even during the heydays of Splash, Jet Sports, or Personal Watercraft Illustrated, none of these had over 330,000 annual readers.

Secondly, and not to be too polarizing, but the most recent presidential election in the United States. The US is still (and will be for many, many more years to come) the single-largest market for personal watercraft sales – both new unit and aftermarket parts. This market, more than any other, has more sway on the trajectory of our industry. Regardless of your (or my) personal, emotional or political leanings, the results of this past election has radically altered the course direction for not only the powersports industry, but the entirety of the financial futures market. According to both CNN Money and Forbes, never in the past decade has consumer confidence been at such a high. The level of optimism held by a wide swathe of would be, potential and current investors is massive; and this plays towards the future of industrial, commercial, and real estate development. People are excited for 2017, and are looking to spend money.

The manufacturers are already in motion. We recently learned that Yamaha Motor Corp. redesigned their regional map, condensing areas, and hiring more representatives to service the projected influx of boat, motorcycle and watercraft sales. For The Watercraft Journal, we’ve already welcomed new and returning advertisers, as well as fielded a bumper crop of advertising inquiries for the new year. The industry’s savviest players know there is a wave coming and they’re preparing for it. So, are you ready? Is your company ready to join the personal watercraft industry’s biggest publication? If you’re still on the fence, let us throw some facts your way:

November 2016

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November 2015

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Continued Growth Through Winter
Wintertime notoriously shrinks the industry all the way around (“shrinkage!”); be it new vehicle sales, product and accessory sales, and of course, recreational use. Even the average monthly user count on the biggest forums in the industry drop by half. Admittedly, much of the same happens with us as outlined above. Such is life in a seasonal industry, right? Yet, why is it significant to illustrate this past November’s performance against last year’s? Maybe because our readership grew by an additional 50%. Again, we cite the two reasons outlined in our preface. No other publication offers more consistent and reliable coverage of the industry, be it important announcements, race coverage or product reviews.

November 2015
Total number unique readers: 16,297*
Total number of articles read: 38,598
Percentage of new readers: 56.6%

November 2016
Total number unique readers: 23,061*
Total number of articles read: 44,599
Percentage of new readers: 59.8%

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

Cold Weather Won’t Slow Us Down
Back when we ran Personal Watercraft Illustrated, we operated on a 7-issue a year format. For four months out of the year, we published back-to-back monthly issues. These were during the summer months when racing and recreational riding were at their height. Yet, when temperatures cooled, so did our publishing schedule, and we went to a bi-monthly (every other month) schedule. Not only did we lose readership, but advertising support as well. It was a death nell. Fortunately, The Watercraft Journal doesn’t take a winter break, but rather, continues to crank out some of the industry’s best content from throughout the globe, and coverage from the entire personal watercraft industry – be it touring, fishing, racing, freestyle/freeride, or do-it-yourself tech. We bring the enthusiast the widest array of coverage possible – and completely free to the reader!

News articles published in November 2016: 26
Feature articles published in November 2016: 11
Total feature word count: 11,394 words

*When this number is translated to print publication standards equals a 98-page magazine. Please note that this number does not include an average of two uniquely-written news articles published daily.

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Social Animals
Unlike other publications or sites, The Watercraft Journal doesn’t require its readers to download, or pay for a subscription, or even a setup a password to log in and access our content. Why? Because trending shows that people flee from such websites. Rather, we give our content freely and easily-accessibly to them; whether it’s via a desktop, a laptop or a portable device, they can read our content. And with our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and weekly newsletters, we bring our content directly to them. And that’s a huge part of our success!

November Facebook likes: 19,532
Top Five countries: United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, France

Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down
(Sorry for the language, but there’s no better/funnier Christmas movie. -Ed) Many find that the diehard PWC enthusiasts will either brave the winter’s chill and continue to riding (that is, in states where weather actually plays a factor in recreational riding), or will dedicate the months to working on their skis in preparation for the coming Spring. That is why getting your company and its products and/or services on The Watercraft Journal now is so important. Get in before the rush and establish your brand in front of the biggest readership of PWC lovers before all of the latecomers try to jump in. The Watercraft Journal has a variety of editorially-supported ad programs that will fit your budget and meet your goals for the coming year. For more information how to put The Watercraft Journal to work for your company, please email kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com

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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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