A Nerdy Analysis of Sketchy Skateboard Industry Paper Trails

Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 by Rob

By Rob Meronek

Back in 2005 when this company called Skate Coverage started a service where they were going to log all magazine coverage and sell reports, the first thing I thought is, "I can do that while I read magazines myself." Being stuck with this numbers/computer brain, stuff like that comes easy. Too bad it's not the same for skateboard tricks. Well, Skate Coverage is long gone, but I'm still here doing what I call Captain Corporate's Coverage Patrol, except my data isn't for sale. It's just a wacky side project. I just took over five years of magazine data and went full nerd war on it below. These charts show how each magazine has done as far as total pages, ad pages, and editorial pages over the years since 2005 and from this quick glance, it sure seems like they're all generally shrinking in recent months. For years now, seems like everyone has been saying print is in trouble. Maybe this is evidence of that? Who knows.

Here are the details on how this data is accumulated. Every month, the four major mags are put into the skater database where ads and editorial are logged in what I call Captain Corporate's Coverage Patrol. For a page to get logged, it simply has to have a skater. Even if they're just throwing gang symbols in front of their rims, as long as it has a skater it in, the page is logged as either editorial or advertising along with who the photographer is. I put all this crazy data I've collected since 2005 into a spreadsheet and out popped these Captain Corporate-ass charts. Each graph shows the total number of pages logged broken down into ad pages and editorial pages. The raw data and details behind each chart is at the bottom of the article.

Skateboarder Magazine

Looks like Skateboarder Magazine has always had about 40 to 50 pages of skate photos each month. In recent months, there's been a bit of a decline.

Slap Magazine

Slap Magazine left paper behind in December 2008. Leading up to that, it looks like things were pretty consistent. They got out just before this trend in recent months that has most mags decreasing content, ads, and total pages.

The Skateboard Mag

I can't remember what month it was when I picked up the new Skateboard Mag and realized how much thinner it was. Their chart shows the dip in recent months that all mags seem to be going through. June 2010 being so far down - not sure if that's a fat finger data entry error or what. I'll have to check on that month.

Thrasher Magazine

Thrasher tends to run more half page photos than most mags. Since most half pages are actually logged as a page of coverage, some of their page counts may be slightly higher than actual. Not sure what happened with June 09. Maybe my subscription ran out. Anyway, Thrasher has remained pretty consistent over the years, but has also shown the slow dip over recent months like some of the other mags.

Transworld Magazine

Of all the mags, Transworld seems to have the sharpest dip in number of pages. Their number of skate photos has also dipped, but not as sharp as overall. One thing to remember: to be logged, a page has to have an actual skater. So, maybe there's the same number of pages in Transworld and just more ads with no skating (milk, video games, etc.)?

Overall Stats

In summary, The Skateboard Mag has the most skate photos in the five year period. Skateboarder Mag has the lowest percentage of ads.

Skateboarder Magazine Data

Month Total Pages Logged Editorial Pages Logged Ad Pages Logged % Ad Pages
6/200576552127.6%
7/200565402538.5%
8/200588533539.8%
9/200571472433.8%
10/200588553337.5%
11/200584552934.5%
12/200576463039.5%
1/200679522734.2%
2/200673433041.1%
3/200676443242.1%
4/200672403244.4%
5/200679453443%
6/200673403345.2%
7/200680473341.3%
8/200681463543.2%
9/200680453543.8%
10/200680453543.8%
11/200678492937.2%
12/200680463442.5%
1/200781513037%
2/200772423041.7%
3/200776472938.2%
4/200779512835.4%
5/200780493138.8%
6/200777512633.8%
7/200780503037.5%
8/200779522734.2%
9/200775383749.3%
10/200777482937.7%
11/200781453644.4%
12/200782513137.8%
1/200877482937.7%
2/200876492735.5%
3/200875433242.7%
4/200875472837.3%
5/200872472534.7%
6/200890622831.1%
7/200879453443%
8/200880542632.5%
10/200882523036.6%
9/2008101643736.6%
11/200881552632.1%
12/200880503037.5%
1/200974512331.1%
2/200974482635.1%
3/200977542329.9%
4/200974551925.7%
5/200971472433.8%
6/200967422537.3%
7/200964432132.8%
8/200967462131.3%
9/200968482029.4%
10/200966452131.8%
11/200972452737.5%
12/200964412335.9%
1/201066442233.3%
2/201065432233.8%
3/201065491624.6%
4/201068521623.5%
5/201067481928.4%
6/201061392236.1%
7/201050351530%
8/201061402134.4%

Slap Magazine Data

Month Total Pages Logged Editorial Pages Logged Ad Pages Logged % Ad Pages
6/200573413243.8%
7/200578393950%
8/200586444248.8%
9/2005101614039.6%
10/200584453946.4%
11/200586454147.7%
12/200584463845.2%
1/2006102633938.2%
2/200689513842.7%
3/200690504044.4%
4/200694484648.9%
5/2006102564645.1%
6/200699544545.5%
7/200687454248.3%
8/200692514144.6%
9/200691484347.3%
10/200696494749%
11/200695494648.4%
12/200691464549.5%
1/2007106604643.4%
2/200785463945.9%
3/200787444349.4%
4/200783434048.2%
5/200787474046%
6/200779394050.6%
7/200781394251.9%
8/200785493642.4%
9/200780423847.5%
10/200779413848.1%
11/200787543337.9%
12/200794553941.5%
1/200879473240.5%
2/200876364052.6%
3/200881503138.3%
4/200880413948.8%
5/200881443745.7%
6/200886543237.2%
7/200873423142.5%
8/200874403445.9%
9/200877463140.3%
10/200870353550%
11/200882542834.1%
12/200878492937.2%

The Skateboard Mag Data

Month Total Pages Logged Editorial Pages Logged Ad Pages Logged % Ad Pages
6/2005108703835.2%
7/2005110694137.3%
8/2005106624441.5%
9/2005118774134.7%
10/2005113664741.6%
11/2005114684640.4%
12/2005113605346.9%
1/2006120804033.3%
2/2006115714438.3%
3/2006105604542.9%
4/2006117694841%
5/200699584141.4%
6/2006103624139.8%
7/2006103624139.8%
8/2006113664741.6%
9/2006116645244.8%
10/2006120695142.5%
11/2006107624542.1%
12/2006116734337.1%
1/2007105624341%
2/2007115704539.1%
3/2007121734839.7%
4/2007125774838.4%
5/2007117694841%
6/2007121774436.4%
7/2007116754135.3%
8/2007109624743.1%
10/2007115674841.7%
11/2007117724538.5%
12/2007121744738.8%
1/2008121754638%
2/2008118704840.7%
3/2008128775139.8%
4/2008128745442.2%
5/2008117734437.6%
6/2008127824535.4%
7/2008106644239.6%
8/2008123784536.6%
9/2008130775340.8%
10/2008129745542.6%
11/2008119704941.2%
12/2008120705041.7%
1/2009124764838.7%
2/2009108644440.7%
3/2009118744437.3%
4/2009103614240.8%
5/2009101633837.6%
6/2009103614240.8%
7/200993514245.2%
8/200990533741.1%
9/200989513842.7%
10/200999584141.4%
11/200997554243.3%
12/200999544545.5%
1/2010108644440.7%
2/201092593335.9%
3/201098613737.8%
4/2010103663735.9%
5/201096564041.7%
6/201058312746.6%
7/201086464046.5%
8/201081473442%

Thrasher Magazine Data

Month Total Pages Logged Editorial Pages Logged Ad Pages Logged % Ad Pages
6/2005125566955.2%
7/2005113516254.9%
8/2005128626651.6%
9/2005125626350.4%
10/2005103445957.3%
11/2005119497058.8%
12/2005131646751.1%
1/2006163986539.9%
2/2006123606351.2%
3/2006112417163.4%
4/2006110476357.3%
5/2006123566754.5%
6/2006123566754.5%
7/2006116546253.4%
8/2006123586552.8%
9/2006117467160.7%
10/2006121517057.9%
11/2006121546755.4%
12/2006128656349.2%
1/2007119546554.6%
2/2007110496155.5%
3/2007124586653.2%
4/2007116546253.4%
5/2007117486959%
6/2007122556754.9%
7/2007110506054.5%
8/2007108466257.4%
9/2007117496858.1%
10/2007110476357.3%
11/2007106466056.6%
12/2007132666650%
1/2008111545751.4%
2/2008103455856.3%
3/2008113496456.6%
4/2008117526555.6%
5/2008105416461%
6/2008106485854.7%
7/2008108466257.4%
8/2008128587054.7%
9/2008121487360.3%
10/2008117506757.3%
11/2008110476357.3%
12/2008116516556%
1/2009123556855.3%
2/2009111535852.3%
3/2009118556353.4%
4/2009117536454.7%
5/2009112496356.3%
7/2009118546454.2%
8/2009118576151.7%
9/2009107505753.3%
10/2009110496155.5%
11/2009101416059.4%
12/2009107466157%
1/201099425757.6%
2/2010102534948%
3/201094425255.3%
4/201097405758.8%
5/201099455454.5%
6/2010101475453.5%
7/2010109496055%

Transworld Magazine Data

Month Total Pages Logged Editorial Pages Logged Ad Pages Logged % Ad Pages
6/200593415255.9%
7/2005121526957%
8/2005120526856.7%
9/2005118556353.4%
10/2005132627053%
11/2005118536555.1%
12/2005117516656.4%
1/2006116625446.6%
2/2006114575750%
3/2006117526555.6%
4/2006111516054.1%
5/2006118536555.1%
6/2006126596753.2%
7/2006137667151.8%
8/2006126596753.2%
9/2006125557056%
10/2006131587355.7%
11/2006114546052.6%
12/2006115526354.8%
1/2007120645646.7%
2/2007121645747.1%
3/2007113615246%
4/2007118576151.7%
5/2007100396161%
6/2007109456458.7%
7/2007126586854%
8/2007122665645.9%
9/2007127596853.5%
10/2007131626952.7%
11/2007122586452.5%
12/2007122566654.1%
1/2008116536354.3%
2/2008119536655.5%
3/2008112486457.1%
4/2008123586552.8%
5/2008127567155.9%
6/2008130656550%
7/2008138657352.9%
10/2008124537157.3%
8/2008119566352.9%
9/2008133587556.4%
11/2008130587255.4%
12/2008130636751.5%
1/2009112605246.4%
2/200998524646.9%
3/200999475252.5%
4/2009109505954.1%
5/2009106565047.2%
6/2009109575247.7%
7/2009122606250.8%
8/2009105505552.4%
9/2009103515250.5%
10/2009107545349.5%
11/2009101475453.5%
12/2009108545450%
1/201086394754.7%
2/201075403546.7%
3/201095504547.4%
4/201079413848.1%
5/201095484749.5%
6/201075373850.7%
7/201094435154.3%
8/201091454650.5%

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It's been way too long since a nerd out on numbers post, so let's dive into some digits. I was interested in how the ages of skaters has looked over the years. What would you guess? Are skaters generally younger these days than ten years ago or are they older or both? Let's take a look starting with 2004.

[View more in the Article Archives]

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