Friday, July 11, 2008

U.S. magazine ad sales decline 8.2% in 2nd quarter

Magazine advertising revenue in the U.S. fell 8.2% in the second quarter of 2008, according to data compiled by the Publishers Information Bureau. In the previous quarter, they fell 6.4%. Hardest hit were automotive pages (-21.3%) and technology (-17.5%).

[As always the data must be handled with care since PIB information is a gross amount, based on published page rates, taking no account of any discounts. And, of course, it refers only to U.S. titles.]

According to a story in the New York Times, magazines are doing considerably better than newspapers:
Analysts and industry executives say that although the cyclical economic forces are similar, magazines so far have not been seriously hurt by the shift of readers and advertisers to the Internet, as newspapers have. Magazines also do not rely on the small classified ads that have had the sharpest drop at newspapers.
Ads in some luxury and high-end fashion, home decor and travel magazines have actually increased, while others remained flat.
“The joke here is, ‘Flat is the new up,’ ” said Thomas J. Wallace, editorial director at Condé Nast.
Some of the biggest-circulation magazines, including several women’s magazines, were among the hardest-hit; Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, Ladies’ Home Journal and Family Circle each lost more than 14 percent of their ad pages, and AARP magazine lost more than 20 percent.
Jeff Bercovici at Portfolio's blog Mixed Media has his own take on this story.



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