Commentary

Digital Ad Dollars Don't Replace Print Losses For Magazines

Magazine publishers aren’t making up for their losses of print advertising with digital spending, a report said.

Ad revenue for U.S. magazines, including Sundays or inserts, dropped 18% to $8.97 billion in 2018 from the prior year, according to eMarketer data provided to Publishing Insider.

Spending on digital verticals of magazines rose by 3.3% to $4.67 billion last year, which didn’t keep pace with the 23% growth for U.S. digital ad spending to $108.6 billion. In a separate report, eMarketer forecast that digital ad spending will almost double to $201.8 billion by 2023.

Advertisers cut spending on magazines and related content by 12% to $13.6 billion last year, according to the researcher.

Digital ad revenue will grow 2.1% for magazines this year, while print ad revenue falls 17%, estimates eMarketer. The company also forecasts that print and digital ad spending will be about equal for magazines by 2022, when print falls to $5.2 billion, while digital inches up to $4.9 billion.

Ad spend in U.S. print magazines has fallen by about 56% since reaching $20.5 billion in 2008, before the Great Recession led to a collapse in media buying.

The forecast provides a grim picture for the publishing industry.

It will have to lean more heavily on consumer revenue from subscriptions, digital paywalls and ecommerce affiliations to make up for declining ad sales and support professionally created content.

1 comment about "Digital Ad Dollars Don't Replace Print Losses For Magazines".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, July 24, 2019 at 7:44 p.m.

    If only we knew that 20 years ago.   Oh, hang on, we did.

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