Third-quarter ad page totals extended losses for the ninth consecutive quarter, falling 1.8 percent year-over-year, as reported by the Publishers Information Bureau (PIB) and MPA—The Association of Magazine Media.
Losses have slowed, however, with year-to-date consumer magazine ad page totals down just 3.8 percent so far in 2013 as compared to 2012.
Decelerated losses could be thanks to ad-heavy September issues that bulked up many fashion titles. For September issues year-over-year, Vogue saw a 1-percent gain to its second-biggest issue ever at 665 ad pages, Elle jumped 12-percent to 442 ad pages and Glamour bumped up 18 percent to 224 ad pages, among others.
Newsweeklies saw some recovery in the third quarter as both Time and The Week edged up 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent in pages, respectively. The Economist, however, dropped 7.3 percent in pages year-over-year.
Food magazines saw ad page totals climb as Bon Appetite increased 19.8 percent, Eating Well spiked 69.8 percent and Fine Cooking jumped 57.7 percent.
Business titles were mostly down, but only minimally, with the exception of Barrons, up 29.2 percent as compared to 2012. Kiplinger’s fell 3.1 percent, Harvard Business Review declined 2.7 percent and Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes were relatively flat year-over-year slipping 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. Fortune took the biggest tumble, dropping 17.5 percent as compared to a year ago.
“Marketers are shifting dollars in some instances from print to tablet editions, but continue to invest in magazine media,” says Mary Berner, president and CEO of MPA in a release. “Print is improving and the tablet business is growing.”
PIB tracked ad sales for 58 magazines that have print and iPad editions. Total tablet ad units rose 6.8 percent in the third quarter as compared to the same period a year ago and increased 7 percent Jan.-Sept. 2013 versus 2012.
While tablet ad unit numbers remain behind print ad page totals, the upward trending momentum does show stability.