Exchange Magazine releases its 2018 reader demographic report for print and online readers and re-positions for a sustainable print model in 2019
2018 continued to be a year-of-change for print media as we continue to feel the challenges brought on by the internet and the growing congestion a digital media presence.
It's worth highlighting that Exchange Magazine is in its 36th year of publishing a print edition. We have succeeded through a transitional, three-plus-decades of publishing, with extreme industry challenges occurring during the last three years. 2018 saw a meaningful change to our distribution frequency. In the fall of 2018 I announced that Exchange Magazine print version will now be published as a quarterly, or four times per year.
Maintaining its position as the premier business journal serving Waterloo Region, Guelph and the surrounding area, Exchange Magazine continues to serve the business reader, their entrepreneurial spirit and their determine to succeed grit. We target a diverse group of "leaders who are readers", it's them we serve, as they lead their business and or their division/department to contribute, grow and prosper. We serve by writing stories on local business people, how they've achieved success as a local business, and why pursuing prosperity is a pursuit that not only serve personal interest but also business and community interest.
Exchange Magazine Quarterly will continue to highlight these individuals, we have a great year planned.
Changes for 2019
A significant change for 2019 – and one we announced last year – is that Exchange Magazine will be publishing four times a year and not the seven we had previously distributed.
With this distribution shift, Exchange Magazine has positioned itself in what we believe to be a sustainable print publishing model, serving a geographically specific and dynamic engaged reader, in a economic and educationally-developed community with a combined population of over 725, 000 people. Exchange Magazine continues to be a journal that is relevant, contextual, unique. Working with and alongside other great local organizations and institutions, we remain focused on a informing a meaningful and dynamic business audience, one that serves and employs for prosperity and wants to do so.
In January 2017, Exchange launched the Tuesday and Thursday edition, a twice-weekly digital publication that carries the familiar Monitor section readers continually enjoy. With our online publication exchangemagazine.com, we extend our print coverage to keep informing engaged readers, in loop, twice a week. This new direction permits us to hone in on meaningful local business and relevant economic and societal community news in a timely manner. In comparison to the early days, digital allows us to publish 70-80% more content with our readers, distributing the content 101 times in per year.
Our 2018 digital combined readership numbers support this strategy as, in 2018, Kitchener overtook Toronto as the community that had the most readers. Kitchener had over 10,000 unique readers of exchangemagazine.com and quarterly.exchange in Kitchener alone, each spending 50 seconds reading an article per visit.
Print vs Digital: A very different way of reading
Online readership is very different than print readership. In print, readers experience the pleasure of a tangible product, where they can touch, feel, turn and flip pages in a traditional format. Magazines can sit on tabletops ready to be picked up and read immediately. They offer ongoing value as a consistent and instantly accessed medium. Journals are still sought-after products, with print magazines positioned as unique and worthwhile investments.
Digital business news is developing its own place, and that place is becoming increasingly congested. At exchangemagazine.com news items can be accessed quickly and information shared fast. It's because of this unique attribute that our digital version exchangemagazine.com focuses on shorter news bits and monitor items, appointments, R&D, trends and statistics. At the start of 2018, exchangemagazine.com launched its bootstrap version of the Tuesday and Thursday edition. With its ability to discern a desktop screen from mobile screen, readers who prefer to get the information on the run have found this new presentation to be exactly what they wanted. We saw a shift of 1,331 readers shifting their reader preference from their desktop to their mobile device from 2017 -2018. As more readers find comfort reading on their mobile device, the trend to accessing our content will grow.
The following are highlights of our 2018 print and online readership report.
Exchange Magazine Print readership
Exchange Magazine Print version stimulates your senses, is relevant and meaningful to the engaged people of Waterloo Region and Guelph - putting this traditional print publication in a reader class all its own.
Exchange Magazine print distributed, via Canada Post, an average of 15,570 copies per issue in 2018. Kitchener tops out the print business to business distribution at an average of 4,799 print copies, Cambridge coming in second with 3,569 copies, Guelph at 3,335 copies, Waterloo at 2,950 copies, and surrounding townships including Ayr, New Hamburg and Elmira at 925 printed copies. Four hundred and twenty nine printed copies were distributed via subscriptions, retail sales and pre-ordered copies.
Our distribution again shows a decrease in the number of businesses operating in Waterloo Region and Guelph. Reasons for the drop could include a growing number of shared workspace locations, as in workplace share locations, business centres and start-up incubators that are forming across the economic catch basin.
The key employment sectors of Waterloo Region, as reported by Waterloo EDC, total 108,250 employees. Since 2016 ICT and Digital Media have seen growth in Waterloo Region of 20.1%, Advance Manufacturing 4%, Automotive 10%, Business and Financial Markets 3.4% and food processing 7.1%. Excluded from the Waterloo EDC report are 14,500 educational employees or 11% of the workplace population.
In 2016, Magazine Canada reported that the average number of readers per copy of magazine is 4.9 readers per copy. That would put Exchange Magazine Quarterly print readership at 76,293 per issue. Given the number of print titles that have stopped distributing print copies, Exchange Magazine achieves a much greater space in the professional waiting room distribution audience, as fewer titles compete for customer attention. This decrease has occurred in both US and Canada. Since 2011, Magazine Canada reports a repatriation to Canadian magazine content as US spill is still in a long term decline in print, but has increased tremendously in digital and social media platforms using Facebook, Twitter and Google.
exchangemagazine.com (online readership)
The Region of Waterloo Municipality, City of Kitchener has retaken its position as top reader destination, as Toronto moves from first to third position, after the City of Waterloo. Cambridge maintained it fourth position, with a switch in placement between Hamilton and Guelph.
Baden and New Hamburg also appear for the first time in the top 15; this could be an indication of successful efforts in editorial coverage focused on the younger entrepreneurs and reflective of the high growth of younger business people in those communities.
In total, Waterloo Region rounded out at 36% of all online readership, with a total number of readers of 51,827.
Notably, Whitby appears for the first time in the top 15 reader destinations, as does Simcoe County, Burlington and Montreal.
Two great 2018 anomalies were the odd appearance of Paris, France appearing in the top 3 reader communities and Saint Petersburg, Russia appearing in the top 10. As 2019 progresses analytics will be tracking these anomalies, as they are probably linked to a specific FAANG - Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google activity. Data centres like Boardman, Oregon, show in the top 10 for a number of FAANG operations, most notably Google, Amazon and Facebook. These locations represent traffic, but are less meaningful as they skew the geo-analysis data, to a more operational destination than reader location.
The above analytics are driven by their respective and independent distribution and viewership. A degree of accepted readers habits has been applied where applicable. Note that duplication will occur within these calculations, as some readers enjoy both the online Tuesday and Thursday Edition and the printed Exchange Magazine Quarterly.
Coming Up in 2019
We have an exciting 2019 coming up. As turbulent as mainstream media makes the world out to be, our part of the world is chugging along full steam ahead.
May 2019 Issue
We are currently working on our May 2019 issue. In this issue we have an editorial focus on Education, Philanthropy, and Communications. Within Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph we have some very successful businesses. With business success comes wealth, but also with it comes a desire to do good. When a community grows, so do the needs of that community. In the May issue we look at the business of our charitable organizations, not-for-profits and non-governmental support social services. It's an in-depth look at our communities’ social fabric, from a business perspective.
July/August 2019 Issue
In the July/August issue we focus on a very important component of every successful and prosperous community: the business of owning and operating a family business. Together with the Centre for Family Business and the Family Business Xchange, we will explore businesses owned by local families who together make up the a influential fabric that defines the character of our community.
October 2019 Issue
‘Adapt or die,’ that is the mantra University of Waterloo’s Larry Smith drilled into his economic development students before they set out to change the world. We are in unprecedented times and in this issue staff will delve into three successful companies that have stood the test of time, and 3 start-ups poised for greatness. Staff will highlight their journey and get into what it takes to be leaders in their industry all ran out of this economic power house we call home.
January 2020 Issue
This issue we start off the New Year with 13 articles featuring 13 local business and institutional persons to keep an eye on. These movers and shakers are onto something. Join us as we explore each person’s success and help us celebrate this cross section of business community prosperity.