Consumer Mag Advertising Sputters in Second Half 2011

Early PIB gains in revenue and pages negated in the third and fourth quarters.

Bill Mickey By Bill Mickey
01/10/2012 -15:01 PM


The MPA released full-year 2011 PIB numbers today and, as individual consumer publishers already know by now, the third and fourth quarters were not very kind.

There were some exceptions among specific titles of course, which I'll get to in a bit, but in 2011 overall advertising revenues were flat and pages fell about 3 percent compared to 2010.

In the first quarter of 2011, pages jumped 2.5 percent and revenue was up 6 percent compared to same period 2010. In Q2, in hindsight, you can see the slide beginning. Pages were flat at a .3 percent gain over same period 2010 and revenue was up only 2.4 percent.

Then in the third quarter, the numbers quickened their decline—pages falling 5.6 percent and revenue down 1.5 percent compared to same period 2010. Further, the fourth quarter of 2011 saw almost a 5 percent dip in revenue and an 8 percent tumble in pages.

Of the 12 ad categories tracked, 9 of them were in the negative for the full year. The three that grew were Toiletries and Cosmetics (3.8 percent); Apparel and Accessories (5.5 percent); and Financial, Insurance and Real Estate (12.7 percent).

The categories that saw the biggest drops were Home Furnishings and Supplies, down 16 percent, and Food and Food Products, which declined 17 percent.

Among individual magazines, Amex Publishing's Departures led the pack with a 43.3 percent jump in pages. AARP—The Magazine also did well, gaining 29.5 percent in pages for the year over 2010. Meredith's Siempre Mujer jumped 31.5 percent in pages.

People En Espanol and People Style Watch increased pages by 31.5 percent and 38.6 percent respectively. People itself, however, declined 5.6 percent in pages.

In fact, as a category, celebrity weeklies didn't do very well. Star fell 3.8 percent in pages for the year, US Weekly was flat at 1.8 percent, In Touch fell 13.1 percent, and OK fell 1.2 percent.

The two big newsweeklies, Time and Newsweek, were down 2.5 percent and 16.8 percent and The Week dropped 12.9 percent in pages.

Bloomberg Businessweek continued its comeback, ending the year up 19 percent in pages, while Forbes and Fortune were down 3.9 percent and .9 percent respectively.

In terms of total pages sold in 2011, People topped the list at 3,357. New York magazine came in at number two with 2,608 pages sold—not bad for a regional pub. Brides sold 2,603 pages. In Style tallied 2,544 pages and Vogue sold 2,509 pages to round out the top 5.

For more details on the numbers, visit MPA's PIB numbers here.


Bill Mickey By Bill Mickey -- Bill Mickey is editor of Folio:. Follow him on Twitter: @billmickey

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