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Auto, Tech Mags Among Biggest Losers in First Half

ABC FAS-FAX Analysis: Economy, gas prices forcing readers, advertisers away.


Jason Fell By Jason Fell
08/11/2008 -12:02 PM






RELATED: Consumer Magazines Take Huge Hit at Newsstand

With the economy down and gas prices skyrocketing, its no wonder that automotive and technology magazines saw some of the industry's biggest circulation declines over the first half, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations consumer magazine FAS-FAX report out today.

Of all consumer magazines, some of the biggest decliners, in terms of total paid and verified circ, included Stock Car Racing (-27.3 percent), Car Audio and Electronics (-24.2 percent), Lowrider (-22.3 percent), Sport Compact Car (-26.2 percent) and Super Street (-23.8 percent). The hemorrhaging didn't end there (see chart below).

Autoweek and Car and Driver magazines were the bright spots with gains of 6.9 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

In the technology industry, computer heavyweights PC World and PC magazine saw respective declines of 17 percent and 8.8 percent. Apart from the industry's other circ decliners (see chart below), Condé Nast's Wired saw a 6.1 percent increase and Popular Mechanics a 0.8 increase in paid and verified circ.

Although consumers have seen some relief at the pump recently—with average gas prices dipping under $4 per gallon—it's unclear when these industries, and the economy, will rebound.

What's even more sad is magazines overall are taking a hit from these suffering markets. According to the Publishers Information Bureau's first half 2008 report, automotive ad pages for the period plunged 21.3 percent from the first half in 2007. The technology ad category was the second-largest decliner with ad pages falling 17.5 percent.

Automotive Circ Decliners

TITLE%CHNG
Stock Car Racing-27.3
Car Audio and Electronics-24.2
Lowrider-22.3
Sport Compact Car -26.2
Super Street-23.8
Easyriders-18.2
Truckin’-16.2
Sport Truck -12.8
National Speed Sport News-12.4
Four Wheeler-10.1
Nascar Illustrated-6.7
SportsCar-3.4
Road & Track -1.3
Motor Trend -0.9
Sport Driver -0.6

 

Technology Circ Decliners

TITLE%CHNG
PC World -17
Computer Power User-15.1
Computer Shopper -10.1
PC magazine-8.8
PC Gamer-8.4
Technology Review-3.6


Source: ABC

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