After several months in the doldrums earlier this year, the recovery in consumer magazines appears to be gathering speed, judging by the latest figures for monthly titles from the Media Industry Newsletter, covering December issues and the year-to-date.
Total ad pages increased 4.4% in 2010 compared to 2009 -- a modest improvement over one of the worst years in the medium's history.
Overall, 99 out of 149 (or two-thirds) of titles tracked by MIN are up in year-to-date ad pages as the year draws to a close. That's a big improvement compared to the same time last year, when just 10 out of 150 (or just 6.6%) were up in ad pages for the full 12 months.
According to MIN, the 10 best performers in 2010 included Vogue, up 16% to 2,308 ad pages; People StyleWatch, up 49.5% to 940 ad pages; Elle Décor, up 34.7% to 1,121 ad pages; Harper's Bazaar, up 17.7% to 1,792 ad pages; Marie Claire , up 19.5% to 1,344 ad pages; Chicago, up 18.9% to 1,346 ad pages; InStyle, up 8.6% to 2,512 ad pages; Real Simple, up 13.8% to 1,642 ad pages; Elle, up 9.1% to 2,286 ad pages, and Parenting Early Years, up 21.5% to 961 ad pages.
Full data for all 149 monthly titles tracked by MIN is available from the subscription newsletter. For magazine publishing as a whole (including monthlies, bimonthlies, weeklies, and others), 2010 has provided scant relief following a disastrous 2009. After a bad first quarter, when total ad pages dropped 9.4% according to the Publishers Information Bureau, the industry stabilized with a 1% year-over-year growth rate in the second quarter, followed by 3.6% growth in the third quarter.
For the first nine months of 2010, total ad pages are still down 1.6% compared to 2009, per PIB.