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Magazine Ad Pages Fall yet Some Categories Earn Healthy Increases

21 Apr 2010

Despite hints of a turnaround in the broader US economy and advertising revenue, total magazine ad pages fell 9.4 per cent from 38,395 in the first quarter of 2009 to 34,795 in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

Official rate card revenue fell 3.4 per cent from $4.21 billion to $4.05 billion over the same period, reported MediaPost.

However, losses weren't evenly distributed: 82 (35 per cent) of the 233 magazines tracked by the PIB experienced increases, while 126 (54 per cent) experienced decreases which more than offset the growth. The percentage decrease also reflected the closure of numerous titles in 2009 -- suggesting the actual decline for the group of remaining titles wasn't quite as bad as the overall 9.4 per cent drop makes it appear.

On the bright side, big first-quarter gains were seen at People Style Watch (+134.4 per cent), Scientific American (+33.4 per cent), Entertainment Weekly (+26.7 per cent), Real Simple (+24.8 per cent), OK Weekly (+23.5 per cent), Saveur (+22.6 per cent), Fitness (+19.8 per cent), Marie Claire (+19.4 per cent), Every Day with Rachael Ray (+17.9 per cent), In Style (+17.8 per cent), Popular Mechanics (+17.4 per cent), Lucky (+16.9 per cent), Inc. (+15.4 per cent), New York (+15.3 per cent) and People (+14.8 per cent).

Of the total 233 tracked by PIB in 2009-2010, almost two dozen have ceased publication by the first part of 2010, including Best Life, Blender, Conde Nast Portfolio, Cookie, Country Home, Domino, Elegant Bride, Gourmet, Hallmark Magazine, Metropolitan Home, Modern Bride, Southern Accents, Travel + Leisure Golf, Vibe and Wondertime.

Among the surviving titles, some of the biggest first-quarter losses came at National Geographic Kids (-57.6 per cent), Veranda (-45.3 per cent), Spin (-37.7 per cent), Coastal Living (-36.1 per cent), Sports Illustrated Kids (-35.3 per cent), Jet (-33.1 per cent), Men's Journal (-32.3 per cent), Country Living (-30.9 per cent), Ebony (-30.6 per cent), Muscle & Fitness (-28.2 per cent), Reader's Digest (-27.9 per cent), TV Guide (-27.6 per cent), Ladies' Home Journal (-24.6 per cent),W (-22.6 per cent), National Geographic (-21.5 per cent) and Newsweek (-20.4 per cent).



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