Advertisers Connect with Consumers through Hobby Magazines

The consumer magazine market is experiencing huge shifts in the way audiences pay for and access content. The Association of Magazine Media reports that the industry’s ad revenue rose a mere 1.1% in 2013 while ad pages dropped 4.1%. However, some titles fare magazinereaderbetter than others, even in the print market, and analysts believe that advertisers would do well to target unique audiences through hobby magazines.

Top-​level data from last year shows that when print and tablet magazines are considered, the industry “shows a 5% increase in the magazine media advertising “footprint”. However, print pages are barely holding their own while tablets experienced a 16% increase in 2013. A similar trend may well take place again this year. Some of the largest categories of interest for advertisers are:

  • Food and Food products (+6.7%)
  • Drugs and Remedies (+6%)
  • Furnishings and Supplies (+5.6%)

The magazine industry is complex and a careful consideration of smaller titles will allow advertisers to reach niche audiences. Hobby magazines with a smaller circulation than general interest publications target consumers with a keen interest in a specific topic. A recent New York Times article shows that Trains, Wine Spectator, and Cycle World are examples of successful publications that are bringing in ad dollars. Cycle World, in particular, attracts consumers who spend $20,000 a year on motorcycle maintenance and related supplies.  The success of these magazines is traced to the unique content that is presented to readers. When a title offers this kind of content, consumers show they are more than willing to pay for the media and they comprise a valuable audience for marketers trying to reach customers with money to spend.

To learn more about niche audiences such as History Buffs, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.