Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ad pages for consumer magazines dip 5.6% in third quarter, now in negative territory for the year

Magazine publishers were fairly optimistic that they could record ad page gains in 2011 after several years of contraction. But those hopes are being dashed as the year moves along.

According to the latest report from the Publishers Information Bureau (PIB), ad pages for consumer magazines dipped 5.6% in the third quarter of this year. For the year, ad pages are now in negative territory: down 1.1% versus the same first nine months of 2010.

Of the categories measured in the PIB report, Food & Food Products is down the most for the quarter and for the year: down 24.8% for the quarter, and down 16.2% for the year. The Financial category remains the strongest (anybody surprised?).
Of the individual magazines, Bloomberg BusinessWeek is continues to be having a good year, up 22.8% though September. Other magazines of note: Departures is up 46.2%, or 142 ad pages; Wired is up 15.9%, or over 85 ad pages.

On the downside, Newsweek continues to falter, down 22% for the year, or over 140 ad pages. All the Sunday magazines are in negative territory – magazines like Parade and USA Weekend – though the New York Times Magazine is only down one-half of one percent on the year, essentially flat.

American Business Media (ABM) has not released its third quarter numbers yet for the trade publishing industry. Through June, however, B2B magazines had been able to record a modest gain of 1.99% for the first half of the year, according to the ABM, with a majority of categories recording ad page gains.