Ad Page Bleeding Slows
Epicurean and health titles among the year’s big winners.
The demand for print advertising continued to fall in 2013, but the pace of those losses has slowed, according to a year-end report from the MPA-The Association for Magazine Media.
Total ad pages for the 207 consumer magazines tracked fell 4.1 percent year-over-year—the industry’s 13th-consecutive year of declines. Ad revenue actually rose 1.1 percent, though it’s traditionally seen as a less reliable measure. Pages and revenue declined 8.2 percent and 3 percent, respectively, in 2012.
The industry’s major publishers saw mixed results, holding titles on both ends of the ad-page spectrum.
Meredith, for example, claims the epicurean, Eating Well (61.1 percent), and Hispanic title, Siempre Mujer (-19.2). Condé Nast—with Bon Appetit (22.3) and Bride’s (-24.1)—Hearst—with Town & Country (20.7) and Road & Track (-21.4)—and Time Inc.—with Sports Illustrated Kids (15) and Essence (-13.4)— each followed suit.
As with Eating Well and Bon Appetit, 2013 was a strong year for many epicurean titles. EveryDay with Rachel Ray (9.6), Taste of Home (7.1) and Saveur (6.5) were among the top performers. "Food and food products" was up 1.2 percent in ad pages as an advertising category.
Health and fitness magazines also saw a boost with Muscle & Fitness Hers (34.6), Women’s Health (28.1), Men’s Fitness (27.3) and Men’s Health (25.4), while men’s titles Esquire (17.1), Details (15.1) and GQ (10) posted solid gains.
Conversely, auto—Autoweek (-21.7), Road & Track (-21.4) and Car and Driver (-11.3)—news—The Atlantic (-16.8), The Economist (-16.1), Time (-11.4)—and business—Forbes (-10.4), Money (-10.1), Harvard Business Review (-6.9)—were among the hardest hit categories.