Magazines Post Gains in Ad Revenues, Pages

August 31, 2010

For the first time in nine quarters, both total magazine pages and rate-card-reported revenue posted gains during Q2 2010, according to Publishers Information Bureau (PIB).

Q2 Ad Revenue Grows 5.7%
During Q2 2010, magazine rate-card-reported advertising revenue closed at roughly $5.2 billion, generating a 5.7% increase against the same period in 2009. PIB recorded 43,427.11 ad pages in the second quarter, a gain of 0.8% compared to Q2 2009. Q4 2007 marked the last time that magazine advertising revenue or pages recorded growth.

Revenue Rises, Pages Fall in First Half
Strong second quarter performance helped total magazine rate-card-reported advertising revenue for the first half of 2010 rise 1.2%, compared to 2009 first half. Total PIB revenue for the first half totaled about $9.2 billion, compared to about $9.1 billion through the first six months of 2009. Ad pages during the first half totaled 78,217.83, declining 4% compared to January through June 2009.

Auto Posts Highest Q2 Rate of Revenue/Page Gain
PIB ad revenue and pages grew in six of 12 major advertising categories during Q2 2010: Automotive; Financial, Insurance & Real Estate; Toiletries & Cosmetics; Home Furnishings & Supplies; Technology; and Food & Food Products. (Twelve categories are the most significant contributors to PIB revenue, comprising more than 85% of total advertising spending.)


The Auto category posted both the highest-percentage increase in ad revenue (41%) and pages (28%). This marks the first time since 2007, when PIB moved to a quarterly reporting schedule, that the Auto category has posted a double-digit increase in both pages and revenue.

Other categories with double-digit increases in both pages and revenue are Financial, Insurance & Real Estate and Toiletries & Cosmetics.

Toiletries Report Highest Q2 Total Revenue/Pages
Toiletries & Cosmetics reported the highest total Q2 2010 revenue ($728.7 million) and ad pages (4,182.1). Public Transportation, Hotels & Resorts posted the steepest rate of decline in both ad revenue (-16.2%) and pages (-18.6%).

Mags Grow Q2 Pages, Revenue
In Q2 2010, 130 magazines increased ad pages, compared to 15 magazines during the same period in 2009. One hundred and thirty-six titles registered PIB revenue gains in Q2 2010, compared to 30 titles in the same period of last year.

4 Categories Grow in 1st Half
Four of 12 major categories contributed to PIB growth during the first half of 2010: Automotive; Financial, Insurance & Real Estate; Home Furnishings & Supplies; and Toiletries & Cosmetics. All but the Home category posted double-digit PIB revenue and page increases over first half 2009.


Auto posted the highest rate of first half revenue growth (29.8%), while financial, insurance & real estate led first half ad growth (16.1%). Toiletries & Cosmetics also led all categories in first half total revenue ($1.2 billion) and ad pages (8.027.85).

Meanwhile, for the first half of 2010 Public Transportation, Hotels & Resorts also posted the steepest rate of decline in both ad revenue (-16.8%) and pages (-16.1%).

Magazine Ad Pages Fall 26% in ’09
2010 appears to be a bright spot for the magazine publishing industry, as magazine ad pages fell 26% for the year across the board, according to the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Time and Newsweek saw ad pages fall 17% and 26% respectively. Among niche news magazines, the only one to gain ad pages was The Week, which grew 9.5%.

Some of this decline is likely due to declining magazine readership. Pew research also indicates that magazine circulation fell 2.23% for the second half of 2009, compared with the same period a year earlier. Single-copy sales fell 9%, following an 11% drop a year earlier. Across the six news magazines tracked, circulation fell 8.2%.


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