A Bright Side for Magazines
A quick glance at the low percentage of advertising pages in recent months leads one to believe the industry is stalling at its attempt to break the grip of the sluggish economy.
Taking a walk on the bright side, however, shows ad revenues up 6.3% for September and 0.3% for the year. And outside of a few categories, magazines are really better off than they have been in recent years, according to recent statistics released by the Publishers Information Bureau.
A breakdown of the 18 magazine categories shows just three sectors with page declines through September, the PIB data reveals. Making large gains was the travel sector, which posted an 18.7% gain. Teen magazines also pushed up its advertsing page numbers for the month, rising 13.8%. Though hurt by a large drop in advertsing pages for Martha Stewart Living, the women's service category managed to post a respectable 9.4%, the PIB survey of magazine publishers reports.
The categories still struggling are those that have struggled throughout the economic downturn. These are business magazines (off 7.4%), newsweeklies (down 4%), and personal finance titles (off 11%), all categories that once led the pack in securing ad pages. Titles that had especially strong gains include Us (22.4%), Lucky (61.3%), National Geographic Traveler (36.9%), Guideposts (77.1%), Real Simple (55.9%), and Details (31%).
Overall advertising pages dropped 4.5% when compared to last September, totaling 23,952.