Custom Publishing Spending Down, Circ ‘Strong’
Despite circulation increases, overall spend down 20 percent, studies show.
Despite a difficult market for magazines this year, the custom publishing sector “remains strong,” according to the results of a pair of studies released recently by the Custom Publishing Council.
The total number of custom publication copies distributed increased 7.4 percent over last year, according to the study, “Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume and Type of Custom Publications in America,” released today.
According to the study, the average circulation per issue for custom publications increased from 30,044 in 2007 to 37,340 in 2008—a bump of roughly 24 percent. The average annual frequency of custom publications remained steady at 9 times per year.
The average pages per issue increased slightly from 22.2 to 23.2, the study said.
Spending, Advertising Down
The overall picture, however, wasn’t entirely positive. Money spent on custom publishing has decreased 20 percent while the number of unique custom titles published decreased about 14 percent last year to 123,157. For the third year in a row, the number of custom titles featuring paid advertisements declined 4 percent.
“The drop in spending appears to be a combination of several factors, most notably the growing use of less expensive electronic media for the presentation of branded content, coupled with an overall reduction in marketing spend because of the current economic climate,” CPC executive director Lori Rosen said in a statement.
Rosen said that while spending is down, interest in custom media is up. According to the results of “Public Affairs & Media/Custom Publishing Council Study: Americans’ Relationship with Custom Publications and the Companies that Provide Them,” 68 percent of consumers who read custom publications say it helps them make better purchasing decisions.
The study was conducted by Roper Public Affairs, on behalf of the CPC.