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Toronto Life Turns 50!

Posted by Scott On October - 18 - 2016

cover_of_the_week-125x125Toronto Life celebrates 50 years of magazine publishing effective with the November 2016 issue.

From their Press Release:

Toronto Life celebrates its 50th birthday this month with an anniversary issue set to hit newsstands on October 20th. The cover story focuses on what Toronto will look like 50 years from now, how its demographics and economy will change, and how we will deal with a doubling of population. Other stories include a round-table debate with Mayor John Tory and five former Toronto mayors, and a profile of the magazine’s long-time owner Michael de Pencier that serves as a history of the magazine itself.

In a year that has seen prominent magazine titles close, reduce their frequency, or move to digital only, the story is much different for Toronto Life. In almost every measurable way, the magazine has never been stronger.

According to Vividata, an independent audience measurement body, Toronto Life is read by 890,000 people in print each month. That is the highest measured audience for the magazine since 2005. Within Toronto, no other magazine comes close to the reach of Toronto Life—it has the largest measured audience of any magazine. When combined with an online audience of over 770,000 each month (according to Google Analytics), more people are reading Toronto Life today than at any point in its history.

Ken Hunt, Toronto Life’s publisher, compares the magazine’s success to the story in Michael Lewis’s book Moneyball. “We’ve become much smarter about how we measure the effectiveness of the content we produce,” Hunt says. “The data has shown that quick, cheap stories, online quizzes and other click bait doesn’t sustain audience attention; feature-length stories, particularly stories that have a strong point-of-view or unusual access to its subject, have the greatest impact, produce the most engagement, and get shared on social media. This is how we keep readers coming back.”

Toronto Life’s commitment to quality has been reflected in the magazine’s continuing success in magazine award season. At last year’s National Magazine Awards, Toronto Life received more nominations and took home more awards than any other Canadian magazine. And at the inaugural Digital Publishing Awards, Toronto Life received the award for the Best Digital Design, beating out other high-profile finalists including Maclean’s and the Toronto Star’s Star Touch tablet edition.

“We are proud of the innovations we have been able to make on the web with a small, dedicated team,” adds Hunt. “Growing and engaging our digital audience while maintaining our commitment to print is core to our long-term success. Print is an incredible technology at holding a reader’s attention. If we can get a magazine into someone’s hands, they will happily spend an hour or more with us. That kind of engagement is difficult to achieve online. There are just too many distractions.”

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About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.

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