How Magazines in the Rest of the World are Doing
U.S. titles are floundering, but global advertising and circ tell another story.
With over 50 American magazines having already folded this year, and organizations like the Magazine Publishers of America and American Business Media canceling conferences and events, itâs worth taking a look at how the rest of the worldâs magazine publishers are doing.
In a recent release from the International Federation of Periodical Press (FIPP), the organization reported âbusiness as usualâ for its planned events, with its flagship World Magazine Congress slated for London in early May. Current sign-ups are at 500 and growing, according to an event spokesperson, with big name American publishers like ex-Playboy CEO Christie Hefner, Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black and IDG CEO Robert Carrigan scheduled to speak at the event.
Ad Growth in Europe, Flattening in India
FIPPâs World Magazine Trends report forecasts Western Europeâs ad market will shrink by one percent this yearâwith growth rates expected to rebound when the economy is out of crisis. Central and Eastern Europe, it said, would see double-digit growth in 2010, and Western Europe would experience 3.2 percent growth next year.
In the U.K. alone, ad expenditure could grow by as much as 52 percent over a 10-year period, according to the World Advertising Research Center. Including the recession, ad spend in the U.K. is forecasted to grow between 11 and 32 percent from 2007-2020.
Spending on online advertising in Hong Kong also peaked in 2008 at $208 million in the fourth quarterâabout 26.8 million U.S. dollarsâa 33 percent increase from the third quarter. The number of advertising campaigns increasing by four percent during this period.
Ad growth in India, however, is slowing down considerably. After a double-digit growth for over a decade, WARC projected only two percent ad growth in India compared with 17 percent last year.
U.K. Circ Growth
According to the U.K. Audit Bureau of Circulations, overall circulation increased 3.7 during the second half of 2008. (However, as a site called Creative Match notes, these figures âare mainly due to the growth of free magazines and customer titles.â) There were a number of categories that managed to perform well: hobbies, soap operas and personal finance. Hachetteâs All About Soap increased paid circulation 13.4 percent, while the Economist rose by 3.1 percent year-over-year. Dennisâ The Week grew 6.4 percent.
Circulation of womenâs monthly lifestyle and fashion magazines remained relatively stable in the U.K., with circulation increasing 1.8 percent in the past six months; however, womenâs special interest magazines in health and beauty have shown a decline. While Bauerâs celebrity weekly titles may be crashing in the U.S. market, its flagship UK publication, Bella, saw 16.9 percent growth.
The decline of shelter publications, however, is ubiquitous worldwide; just like it is in the U.S., home and dĂ©cor magazines experienced sharp circulation declines abroad.
CondĂ© Nastâs Heavy âLoveâ
The global recession hasnât stopped publishers from launching new magazines overseas. Recent international launches include Bauer Consumer Mediaâs fashion and beauty title Grazia in Hong Kong, G&Jâs Geo, now published in Brazil, and an India edition of Harperâs Bazaar. Axel Springer EspaĂ±a also launched Auto Bild Classic, with Future launching Triathlon Plus.
CondĂ© Nast launched perhaps the thickest magazine of them allâa 336-page biannual called Love, in Paris. The debut issue contains 136 ad pages.
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