B-to-B Mirrors Consumer Rebound In Magazine Ad Pages

The magazine industry, by far the most languishing of the major consumer media to pull out of the advertising recession of 2001, continues to show positive signs of hitting bottom and bouncing back up. Just a week after its consumer publishing counterparts at Publishers Information Bureau reported a turnaround in demand for consumer magazine ad pages, the Business Information Network, a unit of trade group American Business Media, reported the first ad page gain for trade magazines since December 2003.

In May, B-to-B ad pages rose 3.4 percent over May 2003, while ad revenues rose 6.1 percent. Through the first five months of 2004, ad pages are down 0.9 percent, while revenues are up 1.8 percent. Ad pages are deemed the more vital indicator of the magazine industry's advertising health, since revenues generally are based on rate cards that are negotiated and often discounted.

Nonetheless, Gordon Hughes, president-CEO of the ABM, said the organization is "encouraged" by the May results and predicted the "upswing in b-to-b will continue to the second half of the year."

B-to-B Ad Pages, Revenue

 
Ad Pages Ad Dollars
January -4.6% +2.4%
February -0.9% +0.2%
March -5.5% -2.6%
April -0.2% +2.7%
May +3.4% +6.1%

Year-to-Date -0.9% +1.8%

Source: American Business Media from the Business Information Network database. As of January 2004 estimates are derived from IMS/The Auditor.