Print Magazines to Experience Revenue Pressure through Year-End

As consumers continue to migrate from traditional printed material to digital formats like tablets, publishers are struggling to maintain revenue levels. The Association of Magazine Media just released its latest numbers. Despite a few bright spots, the overall numbers are largely negative for the industry.

When the first part of this year is compared to Q1 and Q 2 in 2011, total advertising revenue for magazines dropped 3.6%. The drop in ad pages was measured at 8.8%. Total revenue, including Sunday magazines, has reached $10.046 billion. Without Sunday magazine revenue, the number stands at $9.297 billion. Assuming a similar advertising level occurs for the rest of the year, the total for 2012 will reach $18.594 billion, well below last year’s $20.086 billion in print ad revenue. That was a small increase over the previous year but was accompanied by a 3.1% drop in pages sold.

Not all publications are experiencing ad revenue decreases this year. Boating, Fine Cooking and Celebrated Living all report a double digit rise in ad pages and revenues. But double digit decreases were seen at Sports Illustrated Kids, National Geographic,  and Muscle & Fitness.

To increase visibility, the Association of Magazine Media has embarked on ad campaign. This summer, the organization is promoting the effectiveness of magazine advertising to media buyers. Their placements include ads in Supermarket News. According to the organization’s data, magazine advertising has the following impact:

  • Drives $71 million in retail sales on a weekly basis
  • Encourages consumers to spend more — $65 spent per trip on average
  • Reaches 93% of consumers

While magazine publishers are experiencing pressure from the shift to digital, the print format remains a big force in entertaining and informing consumers. As a result, marketers shouldn’t neglect magazines when making their media buys.

[Sources: 2011 Overall Magazine Advertising Revenue Flat. Magazine​.org. 10 Jan. 2012. Web. 25 Jul. 2012; IPDA, MPA Launch Marketing Campaign to Retail Community. Magazine​.org. 10 May 2012. Web . 25 Jul. 2012] 
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.