Magazine ad pages in November 2009 sank 19.2% compared with the same month last year, and appear to be in a continuing downward spiral, according to figures released by the Media Industry Newsletter (MIN), which does not foresee an immediate recovery.
Year-to-date, magazine ad pages are down 21.6%, according to MIN, MediaBuyerPlanner writes.
Of 171 titles MIN reported on, 84% saw ad pages decline for the month; 46% saw pages fall more than 20%, and 24.5% saw declines of 30% or more. Conde Nast’s W was one of the biggest losers, down 51% in ad pages, while Elle Decor was down 49%.
A few titles improved in November. People Stylewatch, for example, was up 32% in ad pages, and National Geographic was up 21.2%. Southern Living, More, Real Simple and Guns & Ammo also gained significantly in ad pages for the month:
MIN’s figures echo the third-quarter results recently released by the Publishers Information Bureau. Total ad pages for consumer magazines were down 26.6% for Q3 compared to the third quarter last year, per PIB. For the first half, ad pages were down 27.9%.
ZenithOptimedia’s latest ad forecast predicts that global ad spending will bottom out this year and will return to positive growth – though at just 0.5% – in 2010. Magazine advertising, however, will continue to decline for at least the next two years, the firm said.
Magazine publishers are working to reduce the impact of falling ad pages by exploring new content delivery systems in the hopes of expanding readership and opening up new forms of advertising revenue. A new survey from the Audit Bureau of Circulations shows that 42% of consumer magazine publishers that responded to the survey are distributing or formatting content for viewing on a mobile device.
Despite these efforts, the industry continues to shake out in a big way. MediaFinder.c0m recently reported that the US and Canada have seen 383 magazines fold in the first nine months of 2009, not including several recently closed high-profile CondeNast titles such as Gourmet.