Consumer magazines closed out 2005 on a high note, reporting page increases and revenue growth for the entire year, as well as for the month of December, compared to the same periods last year. </p> <p>
The Publishers Information Bureau also reported that revenue and pages increased in 10 of 12 top advertising categories in December, including three that recorded
double-digit growth in each area: Drugs & Remedies; Financial, Insurance & Real Estate; and Media & Advertising. For the whole year, eight of the 12 major advertising categories
generated increases in revenue and pages, though with double-digit growth recorded only in one category: Financial, Insurance & Real Estate.
In December, total magazine rate-card-reported advertising revenue increased 9.7 percent compared to the previous December, closing at $2,167,530,061, according to PIB. However, rate-card reported revenue can be deceiving because it fails to account for discounts and other special deals publishers offer advertisers to obtain their business.
Ad pages, which are considered a more accurate barometer of real
growth, totaled 22,601.21 for December, up 3.4 percent from December 2004.
For the full year, ad revenue closed at $23,068,182,388, an increase of 7.2 percent over 2004; ad pages totaled 243,304.52, indicating a 0.5 percent gain. PIB noted that 2004 had marked the strongest growth for magazine advertising since 2000.
For individual magazine categories, the scene was mixed. One of the big losers for full-year page counts was the newsweeklies, Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report. Pages dropped at all three titles in 2005 compared to the previous year, following a period the year before when ad growth was relatively robust.
For example, in 2005 Time recorded 2,292 pages, down 12.2 percent from 2,612 pages in 2004. But the 2,612 pages in 2004 represented a 10.3 percent hike over 2003 when the title reported 2368 pages.
Likewise Newsweek, with 1,984 pages in 2005 for an 11 percent drop from 2,230 pages in 2004. But in 2003 the magazine had 2,088 ad pages. For its part, U.S. News ad pages dropped the least amount, going to 1,681 pages in 2005 from 1,691 pages in 2004 for a 0.6 percent decline. But when comparing 2004 to 2003, the title showed a 16.7 percent increase (from 1,448 to 1,691 ad pages).
Conversely, one of the categories that showed substantial ad page growth was celebrity magazines. The granddaddy of them all, People, showed the least growth, with 6.4 percent in 2005 compared to 2004, but its competitors fared better: In Touch gained 38.4 percent, Us Weekly was up 10 percent and Star showed 30.1 percent growth over the previous year