Mag Bag: Conde Nast Boosts Ad Rates 2.5%
Conde Nast Boosts Ad Rates 2.5%
Conde Nast is planning to boost its CPM rate 2.5% in 2010, rather than the usual 5%. The smaller rate hike represents a concession to media buyers, whose demands have grown more strident during recent economic troubles, reports Mediaweek.
Unlike other magazine publishers, Conde Nast has established a reputation for not giving discounts from its official rate cards, maintaining the cachet of its prestigious titles and avoiding haggling, which progressively undermines prices over time. It also has a reputation for raising ad rates more than other publishers. Thus, the 2.5% rate hike represents a significant compromise -- especially considering that it is barely ahead of the current inflation rate of 1.78% a year, and below some of the dire inflation rate forecasts for 2010 of 5% to10%.
Constrained by the no-discounts rule, Conde Nast's titles have seen their share of ad page losses in 2009, with ad pages falling 49% at Architectural Digest in the first three quarters compared to the same period last year, 44.8% at Conde Nast Traveler, 36% at Details, 34.1% at Vanity Fair, 33% at Vogue, 33% at Bon Appetit, 32.9% at GQ, 29.4% at Lucky, and 28.2% at The New Yorker. 2009 also brought the demise of a number of titles, including Domino, Portfolio, Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride.
However, the compromise on rate increases may not be as generous as it seems. One concern cited by the trade pub was Conde Nast's decision not to show separate "bleed" rates (extra charges for ads that don't print all the way to the edge of the page, which can require reprinting). Those typically run 15% and can increase overall prices substantially.
Yahoo, MSLO Expand Online Ad Deal
Continuing its strategy of gaining access to exclusive content through ad partnerships, Yahoo is expanding its ad sales arrangement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, per PaidContent. The new, wider content-sharing deal includes eight custom Webisodes produced by MSLO with Yahoo, which promote Yahoo email functionality with suggestions for users to share holiday photographs; print versions will also appear as advertorials in Martha Stewart Living.
Editor & Publisher Ships Final Issue... Maybe?
"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man." Disregarding Nietzsche's warning, Editor & Publisher's editorial staff and readers are holding out hope that the venerable trade publication covering the newspaper industry may survive despite Nielsen's announcement several weeks ago that it intends to close the publication.
There is some reason for hope: The print publication was originally supposed to cease publication with its December issue, but a wave of remonstrance by devoted readers and advertisers won a one-month reprieve, allowing E&P to finish its January issue. The final note on the Web site was openly defiant: "As many know, we got our inexplicable closing notice from The Nielsen Co. on December 10, which was met by outrage, thousands of supportive messages and even an unlikely place on the Twitter trending list."
Staffers had stayed on till year's end "in hopes of encouraging outside help and bids for a takeover." For now, plans to close the 125-year-old publication presumably remain in effect.
Meredith Reports Increase in Ad Pages
Meredith Corp., one of the first big publishers to experience big drops in ad pages in 2008, became one of the first to see the trend reverse in 2009. For the year-to-date, five high-profile titles -- Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Fitness, Ladies' Home Journal and More -- have seen ad pages and revenue increase; Family Circle is leading the way with an 11.3% increase in ad pages compared to 2008. Meredith also noted that its Meredith Integrated Marketing (MIM) division saw its revenues jump 13%.