The Publishers Information Bureau released its quarterly report this morning, and, unsurprisingly, consumer magazine publishers are having a tougher time selling ads in 2008 than they did in 2007.

Total rate-card-reported advertising revenue fell 1.2 percent during the first three months of the year. But ad pages—considered the more telling statistic, given the discounts many magazine publishers give to frequent advertisers—fell 6.4 percent.

Softness in the automotive and home furnishing ad categories “indicate that the down economy has affected ad spending in magazines,” says Ellen Oppenheim, executive vice president and Chief marketing officer at the Magazine Publishers of America.

Of the 231 magazines that reported advertising figures in both 2007 and 2008, 153 reported a decrease in advertising pages—80 by 10 percent or more. And only 54 magazines reported ad page gains of more than 10 percent.

Publishers who appear to be having the toughest time: Scientific American, down 45.5 percent in ad pages (to $5.12 million) and 41.7 percent in PIB ad revenue; U.S. News and World Report, down 37.5 percent in ad pages, 34.8 percent in ad revenue; Rolling Stone, down 32.6 percent in pages and 26.7 percent in revenue (to $31.24 million, compared to $42.6 million in the first quarter of 2007); the recently-sold gay-and-lesbian title Advocate, down 30.3 percent in ad pages, 22.4 percent in ad revenue; Coastal Living, down 41.1 percent in ad pages, 35.3 percent in revenue; AARP, down 23.8 percent in ad pages; Entertainment Weekly, down 20.7 percent in ad pages; and National Geographic and SI’s “For Kids” editions, down 49.2 and 42.8 percent in ad pages, respectively.

Some magazines, however, managed to buck the downward advertising trend: OK! magazine’s ad pages increased 37.9 percent (to 168.61) and a nearly 50 percent ad revenue increase ($13.66 million); Everyday with Rachael Ray, up 38.1 percent in ad pages, over 81 percent in ad revenue (to $17.98 million); Guideposts, up 36.6 percent in ad pages, 38.9 percent in ad revenue; Rolling Stone’s brotherly title, Men’s Journal, up 21.7 percent in ad pages; and Fast Company, up 29 percent in ad pages, 35.5 percent in revenue.

Ad pages for Entrepreneur, which is looking for buyers, dropped 7.2 percent in the first quarter; PIB ad revenue ($25.4 million) slid 5.8 percent.

TOUGH TIMES

FIRST QUARTER PERFORMANCE 2008 AD
PAGES
2007 AD
PAGES
% CHNG
NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC KIDS
11.28 22.19 -49.2
SCIENTIFIC
AMERICAN
70.76 129.94 -45.5
SI FOR
KIDS
22.62 39.54 -42.8
COASTAL
LIVING
140.64 238.79 -41.1
NATIONAL
JOURNAL
130.50 213.32 -38.8
U S
NEWS & WORLD REPORT
229.46 366.94 -37.5
GOLF
FOR WOMEN
44.16 67.88 -34.9
ROLLING
STONE
194.83 289.22 -32.6
RIDE
BMX
93.34 136.16 -31.4
MOTORBOATING 161.82 232.95 -30.5
ADVOCATE 77.96 111.87 -30.3
YACHTING 472.97 659.11 -28.2
BOATING 253.00 333.47 -24.1
CYCLE
WORLD
162.56 213.60 -23.9
AARP-THE
MAGAZINE
84.98 111.48 -23.8
SALT
WATER SPORTSMAN
200.11 259.53 -22.9
VIBE 185.02 237.38 -22.1
FITNESS 155.52 198.14 -21.5
SMARTMONEY 124.51 158.50 -21.4
SOAP
OPERA DIGEST
217.95 276.92 -21.3
GOURMET 180.41 229.10 -21.3
DIABETES
FOCUS
19.45 24.59 -20.9
AUTOWEEK 224.68 283.61 -20.8
ENTERTAINMENT
WEEKLY
280.50 353.65 -20.7
ABA
JOURNAL
44.76 56.26 -20.4
KIPLINGERS
PERSONAL FINANCE
116.97 146.17 -20.0
POWER
& MOTORYACHT
628.44 780.68 -19.5
BLENDER 109.58 136.11 -19.5

 

FIRST QUARTER PERFORMANCE 2008 AD
REV
2007 AD
REV
%CHNG
NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC KIDS
1,167,306 2,159,406 -45.9
SCIENTIFIC
AMERICAN
5,123,270 8,783,122 -41.7
SI FOR
KIDS
2,016,410 3,175,690 -36.5
COASTAL
LIVING
7,793,924 12,047,517 -35.3
NATIONAL
JOURNAL
1,887,442 2,917,840 -35.3
U S
NEWS & WORLD REPORT
38,034,639 58,359,694 -34.8
GOLF
FOR WOMEN
2,736,612 3,720,514 -26.4
ROLLING
STONE
31,239,764 42,597,888 -26.7
RIDE
BMX
876,262 1,215,757 -27.9
MOTORBOATING 5,042,139 6,831,502 -26.2
ADVOCATE 1,521,759 1,959,948 -22.4
YACHTING 15,567,058 20,639,070 -24.6
BOATING 10,943,019 13,517,554 -19.0
CYCLE
WORLD
7,969,899 10,093,268 -21.0
AARP-THE
MAGAZINE
47,323,400 57,958,264 -18.3
SALT
WATER SPORTSMAN
6,612,276 8,073,767 -18.1
VIBE 18,099,518 22,249,816 -18.7
FITNESS 20,723,830 24,897,708 -16.8
SMARTMONEY 10,522,271 12,786,324 -17.7
SOAP
OPERA DIGEST
4,649,870 5,693,495 -18.3
GOURMET 19,182,875 23,095,274 -16.9
DIABETES
FOCUS
1,915,027 2,095,109 -8.6
AUTOWEEK 7,760,091 9,732,000 -20.3
ENTERTAINMENT
WEEKLY
44,116,621 53,011,125 -16.8
ABA
JOURNAL
1,346,667 1,907,808 -29.4
KIPLINGERS
PERSONAL FINANCE
8,518,107 10,289,700 -17.2
POWER
& MOTORYACHT
17,792,185 21,890,374 -18.7
BLENDER 10,741,741 11,828,460 -9.2


SOURCE: PIB

Click here for the full PIB report.