Manufacturers, Security Sales Magazine (SSI) Is Tricking You

Check out this misleading graphic:

A monthly audience of 280,000+ is pretty amazing considering there may not be that many people in the entire industry.

The footnote though keys you in on the trick:


First of all 'unique browsers' and 'page impressions' are the exact same 'media channel'. Page impressions are simply the actions a browser takes. Adding them up is comical, resulting in a wild overstatement. In particular, 40% of their claimed 'audience' is not an audience but the erroneous insertion of page impressions. Under that logic, IPVM has an 'audience' of 450,000 just on our 'page impressions' alone.

Similarly, there is significant overlap among their 3 newsletters, which Security Sales should easily be able to determine, but they simply add them all in, to make it look better / bigger.

Normally, I would not even look at this but we are in the process of updating our IPVM For PR / Marketing People post so I was verifying recent industry stats.

For the record, Security Sales claims 57,849 monthly visits and 112,542 page views. IPVM has nearly 3x that of monthly visits (150,000+) and nearly 4x that of page views (450,000+ a month).

44,998 unique browsers with 112,542 impressions averages about 2 1/2 pages. Considering articles are often multi page, that might be one article per month per user.

Related, we always show the full article on a single page, even if the article is long. By contrast, one obvious plus side for the trade websites is to split up articles is to show more ads / get more page views

Btw, if anyone thinks showing long IPVM articles on one page is a problem (i.e. having to scroll down to far), curious to hear.

Related, we always show the full article on a single page, even if the article is long.

True, though I believe an article's comments can force pagination in certain cases.

It does, but on this site, that pagination doesn't appear until a lot of comments are present and the page gets extremely long. For instance, the pinned article on discussions, "Camera Calculator - Need Help? Ask Here," has 94 comments but you only need to go to page 2 if you want to read the additional comments. You could still post a reply without going to page 2.

I would say I haven't minded long pages even on mobile. It much more frustration trying to read an article that's spread across 5 pages just for advertising. I think my only recommendation would be that when pagination does appear that it also appears on the second page near the top in case you wanted to go back to the first page. However, the back button works as well and this would only be a real benefit if you were consistently getting over two pages.

Yes, it only seems to happen when the comments exceed some large number. I'm not sure why it even does it then though, since it typically loads as fast as I can scroll. So I would be fine with it always being endless.

Yes, it only seems to happen when the comments exceed some large number.

I think it's 60, need to check with the guys. It does not happen too often but I do agree that is an issue, especially if you click on a link to the 110th comment, etc.

From EH Media's SSI page:

Subscribers are the same as the media kit graphic John showed - 28K+

Note that the 65K+ newsletter subscribers is the total of the 3 newsletters listed in the media kit graphic (SSI Product Showcase eNewsletter - SSI Featured Product eNewsletter - SSI eNews). Each of these newsletters (22.8K and 21.7K and 23.7K respectively) have to have a very high % of crossover - making this figure close to 3X the actual size of the reach it purports to depict.

This - along with the 281K 'Total Monthly Audience' - is flim-flam of the highest degree.

It misrepresents their own value proposition by simple bold-faced conflation.

Also, twitter followers here shows 4K+ - while the media kit says 8.3K - and the total now is 9.1K - where did this (seemingly spiking) growth come from? In my experience, this is not an organic level of social media followers without something they posted going viral.

Even if their website isn't updated too frequently (which is hard to believe that a media company wouldn't update their own online media) how does SSI double in twitter followers when the industry they represent has not also even come close to doubling in size? Then add in the further ~10% increase from 8.3 to 9.1K since the media kit was put to bed. What caused this? Who are these people who recently started following them?

In addition, explain the differing numbers on the website vs the media kit for Unique Browsers and Pageviews. It's not monthly vs yearly.... so, what?

Further, note the 'SSI Is Growing' numbers from the beginning of the media kit compare their June 2016 numbers against Dec 2012 numbers. Compare to a year ago... maybe 2 years. but 3.5+ years? In digital media? Sorry if I remain unimpressed by the actual numbers and saddened by SSI's apparent adherence to flim-flam.

And that fallacious stat is now the main pitch on their advertise page:

Found it while looking up something else today.

The stat is simply so wrong and manipulative. On the other hand, it sits right under a Dahua ad...

On the other hand, it sits right under a Dahua ad...

That explains it! they're just mistakenly pulling 281,020 from Dahua vulnerable device list...

The SIW / SDI people are blowing away SSI's crazy 281,020 with their own preposterous number, from their 2018 media kit:

They are assuming everyone who gets their 2 magazines is unique, everyone reads the magazines and everyone who gets the magazine shares it with 3.5 other people. That amazing series of assumptions gets them to ~400,000. The other 315,000 is not clear, as SIW is only claiming 109k monthly uniques.

More basically, it's a funny number to claim since it's unlikely there are even 715,000 professionals in the (English speaking) security channel.

And SecurityNewsDesk has now beaten SIW's 715,000 figure, claiming a 'social media reach' of 850,000+:

Quite the arms race of exaggerated / fictitious audience.

Social Media reach is a real scam, here's why.

If I "liked" a post from SecurityNewsDesk then my friends would see that post. If I have 600 friends, that's a reach of 600 people. I would say 20 of my facebook friends are actually in the security industry.

Facebook Reach is a fell good promotion facebook does to get amateur advertisers to keep paying for ineffective advertising.

No to mention, of those 20 friends that are in the industry and actually care about it, half likely saw it on their own anyway.

Security Sales 2019 media kit is out and they have dropped the false 'total monthly audience', replacing it with more conventional claims: