Monthlies Post June Increase

According to media analyst firm MIN, June monthly magazine ad pages were up just over two percent compared to last year. That’s the first month-to-month increase since November 2000 and a sign that magazines could be poised for a second-half rebound.

Of course, there’s still a lot to rebound from. MIN put the monthly ad page dive at its worst point in the fourth quarter of 2001 (10%) and the first quarter of this year (12%.) In June, 90 of the 165 measured monthlies were up.

“There is a long way to go to match the pre-recession prosperity,” the report says. “Nonetheless, it is a sign that spending is coming back, and, barring the horrific, that momentum should gain some speed against the poor 2001 comparatives in the second half, and the even poorer 2002 numbers in the first-quarter.”

The study found an increasing dichotomy between advertising "haves" and "have-nots." Magazines dependent on cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, household products, and packaged goods are prospering. For June issues, records were set by Health and People en Espanol and all-time highs for Child and Fitness. Parenting and Parents, which fit into this mold, were both up by double-digit percentages in June. So, too, were Popular Mechanics and Popular Science, which don't. Time Warner’s Real Simple had the month's biggest gain (+110.87%), with Rosie having the highest year-to-date (+128.94%, with four extra issues).

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Financial magazines continue to get hit. Horror stories range from Kiplinger's Personal Finance's modest -2.06% June to Worth's extreme -46.08%).

Technology, women's fashion and travel also continued downward slides. June's optimism notwithstanding, 116 of the 168 monthlies remain down through the first half. That is "improved" from the first quarter, when 125 were down--including the since-folded HomeStyle/New Choices/Teen, but not Sports Afield, which went under in spite of a +27.96% January-through- May.

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