The Watercraft Journal By The Numbers: Record Growth for 2020


First launched on New Year’s Day in 2013 under the name Watercraft Performance – and later rebranded The Watercraft Journal in Fall of that year – this publication has swelled to become the single-most frequented resource for personal watercraft reviews, industry news, accessory and apparel evaluations, as well as race and event coverage in the world. As we near half a million annual readers it’s an odd realization that WCJ has also surpassed the subscription sales of former print hallmarks Personal Watercraft Illustrated and Splash magazines.

Not only has WCJ continued in its upward trajectory for nearly 8 years, but we’ve also expanded into video production, providing The Watercraft Journal a whole new demographic of readers who often do not overlap between the magazine and YouTube channel. This fetches WCJ an additional audience of 1.1 million viewers, pushing The Watercraft Journal’s total audience to over one and a half million annual readers. This kind of audience is something that readers of old school PWC magazines could only dream of.

So how does The Watercraft Journal succeed when others fail? Easy, reliability. No other publication produces on a tighter schedule. Equally, we contractually deliver on the commitments we make to our supporting advertisers. Companies looking to reach this magnitude of audience know that WCJ is the best, most reliable way to do it. We provide measurable results in click-throughs, impressions and interactions ensuring that your advertising dollars result in sales. Those who join the WCJ see a better return on their investment than with any other PWC publication. That’s a fact.

Finally, our publishing schedule and social media presence is so vast and consistent that others simply fall short. Others like to try to sprint to the finish line, while we’ve managed a steady, consistent pace that has taken us further than our competition. Under the direction of industry veteran, Editor-in-Chief Kevin Shaw, The Watercraft Journal is respected and trusted by all three Original Equipment (OE) manufacturers as well as other major producers within the industry. We’ve helped open distribution channels for smaller companies, develop and trial-tested new products for manufacturers and much more. A rising tide raises all ships, after all.

Total Readership and Growth in 2019 vs. 2020

Growth By Nearly Half Over Last Year
Upward growth is great, and continued growth is really great. But what happens when 7 years into The Watercraft Journal you leap ahead of last year’s readership by nearly 47-percent? That’s pretty much unheard of. But that’s exactly what happened in 2020 and we know exactly why. Certainly the austere COVID shutdowns pushed people into pursuing new forms of fun – and a new jet ski certainly looked like a good option for tens of thousands of people worldwide. The Watercraft Journal capitalized on this surge as the primary source for industry news, product and PWC reviews, and much, much more. Additionally, in offering unique written, photographic and video content to peruse, visitors to WCJ could soak up far more information than a few scant pictures on a printed page, or a blog rehashing the same factory studio images.

2019 total number of readers: 334,779*
2019 total number of articles read: 674,833

2020 total number of readers: 487,368*
2020 total number of articles read: 866,963

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

A Steady Flow of Content Never Ceases
Our publishing schedule is pretty radical; every week The Watercraft Journal produces five new articles as well as a easy-to-click newsletter that shows up in your email’s inbox every Friday recapping the week’s stories. (Except for national holidays, we’ve never “taken a day off” or decided to make up work the following day. Nope. That’s not us.) Equally, we produce two full-length video episodes on our YouTube channel as well as host a weekly “The Watercraft Journal IRL” live broadcast. Our readers have come to depend on The Watercraft Journal as a reliable source of industry news, product releases, event coverage and of course, reviews of some of the best stuff the PWC industry has to offer. We value our relationships with these companies who see the impact that partnering with WCJ brings their brands; and in turn, we hope you support those companies who support us!

Total number of articles published in 2020: 259
Total number of news articles published in 2020: 211
Total number of feature articles published in 2020: 48

Much More Than A Website
When you’re nearly a decade into a project, it’s unlikely to see explosive growth but that’s exactly what happened to The Watercraft Journal in 2020. Leaping ahead of last year’s readership by nearly 47-percent is all the more remarkable when considering 2019’s growth over the year previous was a scant 6-percent. So what accounted for such a significant leap? Diversification. While video production has always been a part of The Watercraft Journal’s diet of unique content, it took a far larger role in mid-2019 accelerating into 2020. Equally, The Watercraft Journal’s audience isn’t just reading articles, but engaging in Instagram stories, commenting on Facebook posts and sharing YouTube videos. This, combined with unique access to PWCTrader’s search engine of used and pre-owned personal watercraft and our own T-shirts and decals in our store, and The Watercraft Journal is suddenly much, much more than just a single website posting updates on the PWC industry.

Total number of Facebook followers: 30,054
Top Five countries: United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand
Total number of Twitter followers: 1,023
Total number of Instagram followers: 12,623
Total number of YouTube subscriptions: 11,328

And The Beat Goes On…
There’s an old saying that you can’t deny the scoreboard, and the numbers that The Watercraft Journal has racked up speaks to the success of this publication. We’ve welcomed more readers than our competitors and even legendary print titles of old; we’ve written more content; provided more information; and produced more multimedia than many would produce in double the time. If there’s a failing that we’ll admit to is that we continue to struggle to convince many holdouts of the value The Watercraft Journal offers to their business. Some are slow to change. Others think their own social media page can make the difference that we can. But if you’re one such company whose ready to reach literally tens of thousands of would-be customers and have us spread the word about your product and services, then please email kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com about advertising your company in the world’s most popular PWC magazine today.

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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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