BOCA RATON, Florida—Despite grim revenue numbers in paid subscriptions and newsstand sales—and the mounting pressures to control paper and postage costs—consumer magazine publishers spent significantly more money on editorial in 2006 than they did the year before, according to a financial review of magazines prepared by the Jordan, Edmiston Group released here at the American Magazine Conference Sunday.
“It’s a positive sign,” says JEGI managing director Scott Peters. “It means that magazines value quality editorial both in print and online—they realize they need to enhance the value proposition for advertisers.”
Editorial expenses were up 6.9 percent in 2006, according to the JEGI survey of 99 consumer publishers. Revenues were down four percent from paid subscriptions, 1.8 percent from single copy sales, which were down four percent.
It wasn’t all bad news. Overall revenue increased 1.4 percent in 2006; net advertising revenue—including, for the first time, online ads—increased 5.2 percent. Ad pages, while growing 1.2 percent, did not boost magazine revenue as much as publishers had hoped. While ad rates were increased in 2006, the discount publishers gave advertisers deepened in 2006, offsetting much of the revenue gained by boosting prices, according to the report.