Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Revenues Climb, But Pages Dip for Consumer Magazines

Revenues Climb, But Pages Dip for Consumer Magazines
By Dylan Stableford

Great Year So Far for Rachael Ray; Most Business Magazines Struggle

Given the often-beleaguered state of print advertising, any increase should be considered good news, so this news should thrill consumer magazine publishers: the Magazine Publishers of America's Publishers Information Bureau is reporting that total rate-card-reported advertising revenue increased 5.6 percent for the first nine months of 2007 when compared to the same period last year. Total ad pages, However, dipped one percent over the same period.

That revenue climbed despite slipping pages means that the spending-and rates-have increased in top categories like toiletries and cosmetics, says the MPA's chief marketing officer Ellen Oppenheim.

Among the top increases in advertising revenue: OK! registered a 140 percent increase in revenue (to $32.5 million) and a 44 percent increase in ad pages; Star's advertising revenue increased nearly 30 percent (to $147 million) and 25 percent more ad pages. More saw increases of 25 percent and 18 percent in revenue and pages, respectively; Fast Company saw growth in revenue (16.7 percent) and ad pages (10.7 percent); Quick & Simple gained 46 percent in ad revenue despite a nine percent decrease in ad pages; TV Guide's revenue increased 36 percent to $150 million; and Everyday with Rachael Ray continued its magical run, up a ridiculous 500 percent in ad revenue ($49.2 million over seven issues versus $8 million over four in 2006) on nearly double the ad pages (467 vs. 237).

In the men's health and fitness category, Men's Fitness boosted both its ad revenue (a 41 percent increase to $51,663,772) and pages (615, a 25 percent jump); Men's Health saw a 25.5 percent increase in PIB revenue and 17 percent in ad pages; and Men's Journal climbed 22 percent in revenue and 16.5 percent in pages.

But not all magazines fared as well. In the business category, BusinessWeek-which unveiled a splashy redesign this week-dipped in revenue (-11.3 percent) and ad pages (-16.4 percent) when compared to the first nine months of 2006. Fortune (down 11 percent in revenue, 18.6 percent in pages), Money (-10.2% in revenue, -20% in pages) and Fortune Small Business (-22.3%; 19.7%) suffered similar declines. Time Inc.'s failed Business 2.0, which published its final issue this month, dropped 32.1 percent in advertising revenue on 36 percent fewer ad pages.

Newsweek, which today unveiled an extensive redesign, was down three percent in revenue ($315.4 million) on 8.5 percent fewer ad pages. Newsweek's chief rival, Time, has had a tougher year on the heels of its own redesign, down 17.3 percent in revenue ($365 million) and 5.8 percent in pages (too 1,459.32).

PC Magazine's print ad revenues dipped 29.8 percent on 33 percent fewer ad pages. And something called Ride BMX skidded 27.4 percent in revenue and 30 percent in ads, respectively.

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