[This post has been updated] All Canada Council for the Arts-funded magazines will shortly receive a copy of the latest benchmarking study, allowing the publications to compare their performance with similar magazines of their type. Since Staticstics Canada several years ago did away with its census of magazines, good comparable data has been hard to find. This latest is based on 2009 data and is the second report from the Canada Council (the first was in 2000). [Update: The study was commissioned and funded by Magazines Canada through its cultural magazines committee. Our regrets for not noting this originally]
"The 2010 Benchmarks study is the first “industry portrait” cultural magazines have had in 10 years and it provides cultural magazines with a basis on which they can compare themselves to their peers in a variety of categories: circulation, marketing, promotion, editorial and production costs, overhead, etc."[says a posting on the Magazines Canada website]. "Each magazine in the study will receive the Benchmarks data pertaining to their language group and specialization (art or literature), and their own magazine’s 2009 figures."
The data was compiled by Rowland Lorimer and Jane Hope at the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. Stephen Osborne, Publisher of Geist, member of the board of directors and member of Magazines Canada’s Cultural Magazines Committee, provided assistance and feedback on the design of the study and presentation of the results.
The English language benchmark study is available for downloading. (A French version is imminent.)
An in-depth discussion of the results of the benchmarks study will take place on June 8, 2011 during the State of the Cultural Magazine Nation session at MagNet: Canada’s Magazine Conference. Study participants and cultural magazines in general are encouraged to take part in that session and also join the discussion online at culturalmagazines.blogspot.com.