Titles Slammed: Business, Auto, and Music Mags Tumble
While the magazine industry in general claims to be receiving more ad spending as recently as 2007, these results indicate that the rising tide isn't lifting all boats.
Business magazines are taking it on the chin, as ad dollars follow readers to the Web, which provides business news and information faster and on-demand. In the first three months of 2008, BusinessWeek's ad pages are down 19.4%, to 430, compared to the same period in 2007; Forbes is down 13.2% to 505; and Entrepreneur is down 7.2% to 303.
Time Inc.'s Fortune is flat with a 0.9% decline, while Money took a modest hit of 5.5%--but Fortune Small Business tumbled 18.6% to 75. Smaller pubs and personal finance titles were also affected, with Kiplinger's Personal Finance down 20% to 117, SmartMoney down 21.4% to 125, and the Harvard Business Review down 16.9% to 95.
The business category has a few bright spots, but for the most part they are relative newcomers: these include The Economist, up 5.3% to 597 ad pages, and Mansueto's Fast Company, up 29% to 97 ad pages. Mansueto's Inc. is basically flat with a 1.5% decline in ad pages, to 169.
Automotive mags are also seeing steep drops in ad pages. Automobile magazine is down 13.5% to 178, while Autoweek fell 20.8% to 225. In the first quarter, Motor Trend's ad pages are down 13.1% to 235. There was one bright spot, as Car and Driver enjoyed a modest 3.5% increase, to 214 ad pages.
As pages at music magazines are also down sharply in the first quarter of 2008. Rolling Stone plummeted 32.6% in the first three months to 195, while Alpha Media's Blender is down 19.5% to 110 ad pages. Vibe, devoted to hip-hop, is down 22.1% to 185 pages. The one bright spot here is Spin, up 21.9% to 146 ad pages in the first quarter.