Magazines’ First-Quarter-2012 Ad Revenues Were -4.2%

By Steve Cohn
04/12/2012

Yesterday (April 11), the MPA–Association of Magazine Media released first-quarter Publishers Information Bureau-compiled advertising data for 211 magazines. The cumulative -4.2% ad revenues ($4.112 billion in first-quarter 2012 versus $4.294 billion for the same three months in 2011) were expected, because per min‘s boxscores, the 146 monthlies’ ad pages were -6.09% and the 29 weeklies were -9.15%. 

It is a pattern that has worsened since first-half 2011, with the poor economy and the shift to digital advertising being factors.  Said Meredith National Media Group corporate executive vp and president/media sales (since June 2011) Dick Porter to AdAge.com: "When it comes to recessions, print is sometimes the last guy to feel it–because we have the longer lead times–and sometimes the last to swing out of it. So I do think it will be interesting to see [quarters three and four]. We’re still in a fragile economy, most people think."

The two positive first-quarter categorical exceptions were the beauty- and fashion-centric toiletries/cosmetics (+7.1% ad revenues) and apparel/accessories (+13.2%). They were reflected in the women’s beauty- and fashion magazines’ generally strong March Spring Preview performances. Marie Claire (pictured) had the biggest March ad-page differential, +31.40%, which contributed to MC‘s +16.3% first-quarter ad revenues.

Here, from PIB, are the categorical first-quarter data (as of April 4, 2012):
 

 

2012

 2011

 

%

2012

 2011

 

%

CLASS NAME

DOLLARS

DOLLARS

CHG

CHG

PAGES

 PAGES

CHG

CHG

 

 

TOILETRIES & COSMETICS

590,204,311

551,084,718

39,119,593

7.1

3,465.21

3,382.04

83.17

2.5

DRUGS & REMEDIES

479,833,223

507,643,920

-27,810,697

-5.5

3,586.36

3,869.76

-283.40

-7.3

APPAREL & ACCESSORIES

417,132,303

368,435,249

48,697,054

13.2

4,021.09

3,782.50

238.59

6.3

FOOD & FOOD PRODUCTS

349,751,427

412,390,273

-62,638,846

-15.2

1,936.04

2,356.37

-420.33

-17.8

MEDIA & ADVERTISING

332,868,867

333,440,755

-571,888

-0.2

2,328.59

2,461.30

-132.71

-5.4

RETAIL

296,354,562

314,032,182

-17,677,620

-5.6

2,499.10

2,699.68

-200.58

-7.4

DIRECT RESPONSE COMPANIES

259,647,943

283,676,606

-24,028,663

-8.5

2,394.20

2,564.16

-169.96

-6.6

FINANCIAL, INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE

216,500,850

218,698,761

-2,197,911

-1.0

1,640.82

1,764.51

-123.69

-7.0

AUTOMOTIVE

188,106,065

287,582,298

-99,476,233

-34.6

1,370.70

2,135.88

-765.18

-35.8

TECHNOLOGY

176,531,765

182,045,149

-5,513,384

-3.0

1,373.45

1,460.50

-87.05

-6.0

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, HOTELS & RESORTS

171,817,369

178,537,388

-6,720,019

-3.8

1,935.42

2,208.91

-273.49

-12.4

HOME FURNISHINGS & SUPPLIES

170,780,457

178,719,491

-7,939,034

-4.4

1,280.27

1,317.84

-37.57

-2.9

 

 

OVERALL TOTAL

4,112,400,889

4,294,133,220

-181,732,331

-4.2

32,862.34

35,787.65

-2,925.31

-8.2

 For magazine first-quarter totals, click here.

 
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