Magazine Ad Pages Rise in 2Q, Food, Sports Spike

Consumer magazines saw growth in both ad pages and rate card ad revenues in the second quarter of 2010, according to the Publishers Information Bureau -- the first time this has happened in nearly nine quarters. Now, the question is whether the medium will ever be able to attain the heights reached earlier this decade, in the face of growing competition from digital media.

While modest, the 0.8% increase in ad pages from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010 (to 43,427) was a substantial improvement over the 9.4% decline reported by the PIB for the first quarter of 2010. Total PIB rate card revenues increased 5.7% to $5.2 billion over the same period.

The tentative rebound resulted from major increases in ad categories, including automotive, finance, insurance and real estate, and toiletries and cosmetics. Smaller increases were seen in home furnishings and supplies, technology, and food and products.

The increases in automotive, real estate, and home furnishings are particularly noteworthy, coming in categories that suffered some of the biggest losses during the economic downturn.



In terms of individual titles, some of the biggest winners were Food Network Magazine, where ad pages increased 263.7% to 232; ESPN Magazine, up 43% to 372; Real Simple, up 35.5% to 449; Elle Decor, up 34.6% to 340; Harper's Bazaar, up 33.7% to 336; Cooking Light, up 32.3% to 356; and Vanity Fair, up 30.3% to 311.

Other notables: Esquire, up 25.5% to 210; Marie Claire, up 24.3% to 328; The Week, up 24% to 182; Good Housekeeping , up 23.5% to 413; Cosmopolitan, up 22.1% to 414; GQ , up 21.5% to 280; Vogue, up 20.1% to 425; Essence, up 19.5% to 322; and People, up 16.6% to 955.

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