Magazine Ad Pages Fall 8.2%

In-Touch-WeeklyThere is no relief in sight for consumer magazines, judging by the dismal first-quarter figures released by the Publishers Information Bureau. According to the PIB, total ad pages at 218 titles tracked by the organization fell 8.2% to 33,828 in the first quarter of 2012.

Overall, 152 out of 218 titles -- or 70% -- experienced ad page declines. 86 titles (39% of the total) experienced ad page declines of 10% or more, and 40 titles (18% of the total) experienced ad page declines of 20% or more (the latter category overlaps with the former).

Some titles experiencing declines over 20% included Field & Stream, down 29% from 104 to 74; Golf Digest, down 33.1% from 200 to 134; Golf World, down 25.9% from 223 to 166; In Touch Weekly, down 29.3% from 230 to 162; Kiplingers Personal Finance, down 33.8% from 81 to 54; Martha Stewart Living, down 34.2% from 228 to 150; Maxim, down 26.7% from 113 to 83; Men’s Fitness, down 25.8% from 143 to 106; National Geographic, down 27% from 83 to 61; and Popular Science, down 29% from 144 to 102.

The first-quarter PIB figures reflect the steep decline suffered by the consumer magazine business over the last five years. The total for the first quarter of 2012 -- 33,828 -- is down 37% from 53,748 in the first quarter of 2007.

Although some of this decline is due to the closing of a number of magazines, virtually all the surviving titles have seen ad pages decline substantially over the intervening years.

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