Magazine Ad Revenue Falls 7.8% in 2008

January 15, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | CPG & FMCG | Financial Services | Magazines | Retail & E-Commerce

Total magazine rate-card-reported advertising revenue for full-year 2008 closed at $23,652,018,533, a 7.8% decline vs. 2007, while 220,813 advertising pages were generated throughout the year, a drop of 11.7% vs. 2007, according to Publishers Information Bureau (PIB), reports MediaBuyerPlanner.


In Q4208, PIB revenue generated $6,569,577,476, which was a 13.8% decrease compared with Q407. There were 60,814.50 advertising pages counted for the quarter, a decline of 17.1% compared to the same period in 2007.


In both full-year and Q408, declines were seen across the top 12 magazine advertising categories, in both PIB revenues and pages. (12 categories are the most significant contributors to PIB revenue, comprising more than 85% of total advertising spending.)

The most significant decreases were seen in the most beleaguered sectors: Automotive; Home Furnishings & Supplies; and Financial, Insurance & Real Estate. Drugs & Remedies, which continues to attract government scrutiny, also saw double-digit declines for the year and within fourth quarter, PIB reported.

However, while magazine ad categories were down overall, there were bright spots in some of the more recession-resistant subsectors:

  • Ad page and revenue gains were seen within Home Furnishings & Supplies, for its subsector household soaps, cleansers & polishes
  • Reflecting an increasingly budget-conscious environment, discount department & variety stories within the Retail category were also up.
  • Within the Q4 specifically, growth was seen within Food & Food Products, for basics like dairy, produce and meats; within Apparel & Accessories, for clothing accessories like handbags or hats; and within Toiletries & Cosmetics, for personal hygiene & health products.

“Like other ad-supported media, magazines have been affected by the economic slump, which deepened as 2008 progressed,” said Ellen Oppenheim, EVP and CMO of Magazine Publishers of America, which administers PIB. “Advertiser decisions for the fourth quarter were influenced by a range of factors. For longer-lead time monthlies, consumers cut spending during the summer due to soaring energy prices, which caused advertisers to put buy fewer ads in year-end magazine issues. In the fall and early winter, rising unemployment and steep stock market declines led to restrained ad spending in weekly titles.”

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