To no one’s surprise, consumer magazines suffered a beating in 2009 in terms of advertising revenue. According to full-year results released today by the Magazine Publishers of America’s Publishers Information Bureau, ad pages for the year were down 25.6 percent while estimated revenues closed at $19.45 billion, a drop of 18.1 percent.
Of all the magazines tracked by PIB, fewer than 20 showed ad page gains in 2009. The biggest winners were People Style Watch (up 24.4 percent), OK! (up 20.7) and Saveur (up 12.8).
Of the 12 advertising categories tracked by PIB, all reported ad page losses for 2009—the biggest decliners being financial, insurance and real estate (-41.4 percent) and automotive (-40.5). Estimated revenues were down in all categories except for food and food products, which posted a slight 1.4 percent gain.
Despite the grim outcome, PIB said the fourth quarter showed some signs of improvement. Ad pages during the period slipped 21.6 percent compared to the fourth quarter in 2008 while revenues dropped only 12.4 percent.
“While marketers’ skittishness continued through the fourth quarter, magazine spending showed improvement compared to earlier in 2009,” MPA executive vice president/CEO Ellen Oppenheim said in the announcement. “Magazines experienced an uptick in food spending and relative improvement in other areas, especially in automotive.”
Click here for PIB’s full year-end results, title-by-title.