There are over 17,000 periodic publications (magazines, newspapers and news letters) published in the USA & Canada. The great majority of these periodicals are not your general interest (family fare) magazines like PEOPLE or READERS DIGEST, nor are they your local daily newspaper. The vast bulk of these publications are dedicated to the special interest and informational needs of specific trades or professions. The general public has no idea of the scope (approximately 9-10,000 titles) of the trade press industry.
Most people are not aware it exists though they may read one or more such publications devoted to their occupation or workplace. If they don’t receive any trade magazines personally, they may see them when browsing through “Barber Shop Owner,” while waiting for a haircut. Around the trade press industry we joke that there are not only magazines available for hog farmers but probably a book(or two or three) for folks who only raise red spotted hogs!
Trade publications and professional journals are the principal means by which specialists keep up with what is happening in their industry – what new equipment is available – what is the current state of the art? Most of these publications are free to a controlled circulation.
The circulation is periodically audited to demonstrate readership numbers and verify the true buying influence of that readership. Most trade periodicals are supported by paid space advertising. Audit figures are essential to advertising industry media analysts and buyers. A few publications within the trade press world are actually member periodicals of a particular trade/professional association and a member’s dues include a subscription fee. Finally there are a few that sell subscriptions like general consumer magazines(the ones you will see at your corner newsstand).