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Periodical publishing, 2015

Released: 2016-12-15

The periodical publishing industry reported $1.6 billion in total operating revenue in 2015, down 17.7% from 2013. Total operating expenses declined 21.3% to $1.4 billion in 2015, resulting in an operating profit margin of 13.0% compared with 9.0% in 2013.

Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits represented 34.5% of total operating expenses. Other large contributors to total operating expenses were the cost of goods sold (17.2%) and subcontract expenses (9.3%).

The regional share of operating revenue was stable from 2013 to 2015. Companies operating in Ontario accounted for the majority of the activity in the industry. Periodical publishers in Ontario accounted for 57.7% of total operating revenue in the industry in 2015, followed by publishers in Quebec (19.8%), the Prairies (12.9%) and British Colombia and the territories (7.5%). Publishers in the Atlantic provinces accounted for the remaining 2.1%.

Advertising sales accounted for 56.5% of sales in 2015, followed by circulation sales (31.6%). Both of these revenue streams declined in dollar terms compared with 2013, with advertising sales falling by $349.2 million (-32.6%) and circulation sales down by $80.4 million (-16.6%). General interest periodicals accounted for 81.0% of circulation while business periodicals represented 19.0%. English was the language of publication for 77.3% of all periodical titles, while French and other languages accounted for 22.7%.

Periodical publishers indicated that complimentary periodicals accounted for 40.8% of total circulation in 2015, followed by subscription periodicals (30.8%), controlled circulation periodicals (16.4%) and newsstand and other copies sold (12.0%).

Periodical publishers are creating a digital presence and transitioning to digital products. In 2015, digital titles represented 23.8% of total periodical titles and accounted for 15.1% of total circulation. Print titles represented the remaining 76.2% of total periodical titles and 84.8% of total circulation.

  Note to readers

Data for 2013 have been revised.

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