circulation figure

Talk about what is being written in other magic publications.

Postby MitsuMatsu » 01/02/09 11:45 PM

I understand that the Magic Magazine is the largest independent/selling magazine while Linking Ring has the largest circulation in total numbers in the fraternity.
Then, I wonder how big the past major magic magazines like the Sphinx were.
Does anyone have some idea?

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/02/09 11:49 PM

The Sphinx's numbers were much lower. I think it's mentioned by Wilson at some points what the circulation is, and it's pretty small by today's standards.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 01/03/09 01:52 AM

In Volume 26 April 1927 issue of the Sphinx, he mentions a "circulation approaching 4,000".
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Postby MitsuMatsu » 01/03/09 03:20 AM

I thought it was around 2,000.
So, I think the Sphinx was the most accepted magazine among the other competitors till its publication was finished.

Thank you very much for finding the mention, Joe.

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Postby Joe Pecore » 01/03/09 09:24 AM

It was also the official organ of the Society of American Magicians for quite some time too.
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Postby Philippe Billot » 01/04/09 06:45 AM

In The New Phoenix n 340, jan. 1957, Jay Marshall wrote in his editorial Backtalk :

"Magic magazine never seem to publish their circulation figures. The only magazine about which we can speak with any authority is this one. However, we can guess with a fair amount of accuracy, and here are the guesses we've made :

- Linking Ring.....5000
- Genii............4000
- M-U-M............2500
- HMM..............1250
- New Phoenix......1200"
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Postby Gordon Meyer » 01/05/09 05:29 PM

In The Jinx #3, Annemann notes he has 600 subscribers. This was obviously very early in the history of the magazine, so I assume it only went up.
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Postby 000 » 01/05/09 11:00 PM

Anyone willing to hazard a guess as to todays numbers?...........Magic, Genii, MUM, Linking Ring etc?
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Postby Joe Pecore » 01/05/09 11:08 PM

IBM says they have 12,000 members on their website.

Wikipedia says that the S.A.M. has 7,000 members (but no reference is cited).
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/05/09 11:09 PM

Both numbers are incorrect.
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Postby Tom Frame » 01/06/09 12:50 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Both numbers are incorrect.


So, what are the correct numbers? And what is your source?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/06/09 01:54 PM

I'm not a liberty to give anyone else's numbers, however considering that circulation for MAGIC, Genii, and membership in the SAM have declined, it's very hard to imagine under any scenario that the IBM's numbers are anywhere near what they claim.
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Postby Bill Evans » 01/07/09 06:31 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:I'm not a liberty to give anyone else's numbers, however considering that circulation for MAGIC, Genii, and membership in the SAM have declined, it's very hard to imagine under any scenario that the IBM's numbers are anywhere near what they claim.


That's not true for the IBM, Richard. As of today we have 11644 members. Why would anyone think we would publish false numbers on our web site? That doesn't do anyone any good.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/07/09 09:10 PM

Does that include dead folks or just living members?
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Postby Bill Evans » 01/07/09 10:34 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Does that include dead folks or just living members?


HA! OK, that's a good one!
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Postby Greg Edmonds » 01/07/09 11:37 PM

Do we detect a hint of jealousy, Mr K?

Seriously, I've written and edited material for The IBM's The Linking Ring and its Web Portal (and have edited a couple of local SAM publications), but I wouldn't compare the readership of either publication to that of paid subscribers to magazines like Genii and Magic, especially for the purposes of generating advertising revenue or the response thereto.

I think it's safe to suppose that most people who receive MUM and TLR receive them as ancillary benefits to their belonging to the publishing organizations. The opportunity for learning from and comradery with people of like interests, and the chance to attend large-scale events, like national conventions, alone attract many of those who join.

This said, the fact (if it is one, I'm expressing my opinion here) doesn't marginalize either the IBM's or the SAM's magazine; both are very fine publications and both have been for many years.

Having worked as an editor and publisher in both the private sector and for professional, peer interest publications, I can only say my experience favors the lone, topic-specific, journals (those unaffiliated with other entities) when it comes to response to advertising. I've purchased ad space in both IBM and SAM publications for my wares over the years, and plan to do so in the future, as it's never a bad idea to use a "broadcast" approach when targeting a captive audience, but when seriously seeking dedicated potential purchasers with specific magic products, I'd target most of my ad revenue today on publications like Genii and Magic.

There are some ethical avenues to be broached when it comes to the businesses and individuals permitted to advertise in any of these journals (the organizations' member-sponsored magazines can afford to be more selective in the advertisers they accept, and lets face it, some advertisers over the years--and dare we think, even today--are and have been frequently guilty of "borrowing" intellectual material from its originators).

I don't know what prompted the initial inquiry in this topic, but all of this provides some food for thought. From a purely mercenary perspective (and if I'm advertising, I'm doing so to make money), I confess that I'll very likely advertise in the same "commercial" magazines, which in my estimation (based upon three decades of experience), are most likely to produce a more profitable ad dollar to item sold ratio, even if I don't care for the company comprising my fellow advertisers.

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Postby Ray T. Stott » 01/08/09 12:37 AM

Mr. Edmonds,
It's not about paid subscriptions, its all about impressions.
Magic magazines impression quotients fell drastically in the provinces after my barber - Terrible Tom, Master of Tonsorial Trickery - retired and locked all of those early 20th century back issues of Linking Ring, Field & Stream and Yachting in his shop.
:)
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Postby Matthew Field » 01/08/09 04:45 AM

Greg Edmonds wrote:I think it's safe to suppose that most people who receive MUM and TLR receive them as ancillary benefits to their belonging to the publishing organizations.


I don't believe that's a safe assumption at all. Many members with whom I've spoken join the IBM and SAM simply to receive the magazines. Witness the large new membership that occurred after John Moehring redesigned M-U-M.

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Postby the Larry » 01/08/09 08:13 AM

I have to agree with Matt on this. One of the primary reasons people join the IBM or the SAM is because of the bargain they are getting on the journal. Overall joining one or both organizations is probably the best value for reading material one can get these days. And both MUM and Linking Ring have dramatically improved in quality over the last years. Particularly MUM is a magazine that has gained tremendously. And now with Michael Close at the helm I am anticipating another step improvement.
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Postby Greg Edmonds » 01/08/09 10:32 AM

Matt and Larry:

I won't argue that both MUM and TLR are not excellent publications; I completely agree that they are both superb, and the observation that many (perhaps even most)(?) people join the SAM or IBM, today, specifically in order to receive them makes some sense to me. I confess my previous comments were largely based upon experiences in the "old days" (I'm dating myself), when my arguments were more demonstrably true.

Ironically, my likeness was featured on the cover of the last issue of The Linking Ring to be published in the old "saddle-stitched" [staple bound] format, thus marking the end of a 73 year tradition (some might argue that I broke it.)

When Phil Willmarth got the go-ahead from the then IBM leadership committee to permit Tony Dunn to update the publication's look (some wannabe named David Copperfield appeared on the first perfect bound, full-color issue cover, immediately following mine), the publication instantly gained more credibility in the eyes of the reader, and as a result immediately became a more tenable advertising medium.

I speak from experience when it comes to ad response in the older-style member publications versus the (then) more "slick" paid subscription magazines. Having placed ads in both kinds, I received a remarkably higher number of "interested" prospects (but not always paying customers) with the latter kind of publications.

Though it doesn't now and has not historically accepted advertising, when I began my brief tenure as editor of The Psychic Entertainers Association's official journal, Vibrations, I made a concerted effort to change it's overall visual style (it has always been of great value to members), making it more modern, and for lack of a better term, "dynamic" appearing. I still have the letter I received from PEA founder Tony Raven (the late Bob Lynn, himself a gifted graphic designer), complimenting my efforts, and stating that it made the book look more like a "real" magazine.

Eye-appeal, then, is clearly very important, but content still reigns as the deciding measure of publication quality, in my personal estimation. The relatively recent visual style change of organizational magic publications probably did provide greater impetus to create better advertising response, and likely played a big part in the publications' success. I'm guessing (but only that), that an increase in ad revenue and more response to ads placed in these more up-to-date publications can be shown.

As Richard mentioned, the readership (recipients) of all major magic publications has waned in relatively recent times. This is no doubt a reflection of the economic stresses faced by some who have only a marginal interest in magic, and perhaps in some part to the always cyclical nature interest in the art (or craft, if you prefer) historically.

I do believe advertising (once again, what I suppose was at least part of the reason for the question regarding reader numbers initiating this topic) in member-sponsored organizational magazines and the "free-standing" publications like Genii, has become a much more level playing field, but I'll still wager that the latter media get a nudge, if a slight one, over the member issues in terms of demonstrated advertising interest and response.

This is, for me a very interesting topic, and I appreciate the comments of all who've taken part.

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Postby Greg Edmonds » 01/08/09 10:56 AM

Ray T. Stott wrote:Mr. Edmonds,
It's not about paid subscriptions, its all about impressions.
Magic magazines impression quotients fell drastically in the provinces after my barber - Terrible Tom, Master of Tonsorial Trickery - retired and locked all of those early 20th century back issues of Linking Ring, Field & Stream and Yachting in his shop.
:)


Mr. Stott:

What was it, 4:37 AM, Romney Marsh-time, when you posted this response? And I thought I had trouble sleeping. :cry:

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Postby Magic Newswire » 01/12/09 11:20 AM

Both Stan and Richard have spoken about circulation numbers in theirinterviews with us. They're still online for those interested.
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