The print editions of mainstream newspapers and magazines might not be faring so well, but LGBT print media are booming, according to the latest Gay Press Report from Rivendell Media, which has been
tracking LGBT print media spending since 1994.
The survey is based on results from 125 LGBT titles across the country.
Overall advertising spending in LGBT print media
jumped 18.2% from $322 million in 2012 to $381 million in 2013, according to Rivendell, while total circulation increased 15.1% to 2.7 million over the same period.
As in previous years,
local advertising dominated LGBT media spending by a large margin, with local publications accounting for 91.2% of all ad spending and 95.3% of all ads. Local newspapers took 55.4% of total ad
spending, local arts and entertainment guides 25.3%, and local magazines 10.5%. By contrast, national magazines took just 8.8%.
The percentage of ads with LGBT-specific messages --
meaning ads that explicitly refer to LGBT lifestyles -- was 56.2%, up 3.7% from 2012. The 2013 figure also represents a huge increase from just 9.9% of ads in 2002, but is short of the all-time high
of 72.4% of all ads in 2010.
In terms of categories, food and drink (including restaurants, bars, and clubs) was the clear winner, accounting for 23.8% of all ads. Next up was retail
at 10.3%, followed by medical and health at 6.7%; arts and entertainment at 6.3%; health, fitness and grooming at 4.8%; events also at 4.8%; and travel at 4%. Automotive lagged with a modest 1.4%.
The 2013 ad spend figure is also a new record, exceeding the previous high of $350 million in 2009, before recessionary pressures made themselves felt. Rivendell noted that this is the
third straight year of increasing ad spend, compared to three consecutive years of declining ad spend for consumer magazines overall.
Looking ahead, Rivendell expects growth to continue in
2014, based on strong first-quarter figures.