Mixed Bag: Mag Ad Pages Down 13%, But Some Pubs Register Gains




The latest figures for monthly magazine ad pages have been published by Media Industry Newsletter. The weak results are not as bad as previous months, as total ad pages for monthlies fell 13.4% from 13,450 to 11,645. December's comparisons with last year are bad news for what is traditionally one of the strongest ad months of the year.

Of the 150 monthly magazines tracked by MIN, 112 or about 75% saw ad pages decline in December 2009 compared to the same month in 2008. Within this group, 30 (20% of the total) declined 10% to 20%, while 55 declined over 20%; the remaining 27 titles declined less than 10%.

In other words, the overall decline was top-heavy, with certain magazines taking big hits, balancing out a number of others that were flat or even saw increases.



Some of December's biggest losers were Architectural Digest, down 58%; Town & Country, down 50%; W, down 49%; and Elle Décor, down 40.6%. Among the biggest winners were Scientific American, up 55%; Better Homes & Gardens, up 42%; Ladies' Home Journal, up 30%; Southern Living, up 29%; and Cooking Light, up 25%.

The comparisons with December 2008 were familiar, as consumer magazine ad pages had already entered a steep decline following the financial crisis and credit crunch that began in fall of that year. Ad pages in the last month of 2008 declined 17.8% compared to the same month in 2007, heralding even bigger drops in 2009.

Indeed, 2009's December decline is a weak finish to a fairly disastrous year. Full-year figures for 2009 show a 21% decline compared to 2008, compounding a 9.4% decline in 2008 compared to 2007.

1 comment about "Mixed Bag: Mag Ad Pages Down 13%, But Some Pubs Register Gains".
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  1. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, November 17, 2009 at 2:08 p.m.

    Some magazines that see major ad page declines I have been shocked by. I can understand magazines that have content available online that people buy for the content, not the ads. Hopefully readers can fix this because we all like to read at are leisure but not by dragging a laptop around. But some magazines are bought specifically for the ads. Such as Architectural Digest, GQ and Vogue. Online doesn't work as well for those specific titles. You would think they are more impervious to the ad spend decline.

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