Trouble in trade pubs: B2B magazines reverse 2011 gains

It’s a reversal of fortune.

After what looked like an upbeat scenario at the end of 2011, B2B ad pages dropped precipitously in the first quarter of this year.

A newly released report from American Business Media (ABM) shows ad pages were down more than 7% in the first quarter of 2012.  That stands in stark contrast with the three previous quarters, when trade publications enjoyed continuous, steady growth in ad pages and revenue.

Even more troubling, the losses have picked up momentum.

The declines in ad pages have snowballed from month to month, with a drop of 6% in January leading to a 7% loss in February, and dipping by 11% in March.

Some categories lost more than others.  The biggest Q1 losers were computing (down 22%), pharma (off by 16%) and healthcare (dropping 12%).

The trend is concerning for freelancers and others who, with the decline of consumer magazines, have looked to trade publications as an alternative source of work.

Find more on the latest BIN (Business Information Network) report at:

Which food magazine won the Gourmet readers?

GOURMET closed six months ago and New York Times wondered where all the foodie readers – and advertisers – went.

Find out in the interesting article “Fans of Gourmet Magazine Accept No Stand-Ins” published on May 16, 2010.

Last week was a-buzz with numbers

Masthead Online, a Canadian blog, published its yearly magazine tally and magazine starts are down considerably from previous years, as was expected.  The 2008 Tally “noted 74 launches, in 2009 there is a total of 17.  This also marks the first time in the past 10 years of the Tally with more magazine stops than starts.  The number of magazine closures stayed close to the 2008 totals, with 37 books closing.  Of those, at least seven continue to publish online.”  The blog names names here.

E-readers and tablets are wildly popular but consumers find that magazines are too expensive, according to a new study by Boston Consulting Group and published by Readers are willing to pay between $2 and $4 for a magazine, but many publishers are currently charging $4.99 per issue.  Read more here.

Speaking about magazine research, a poll by the Chief Marketing Officer Council finds that people, who read magazines, like them.  Duh.  Of adults, who subscribe to at least one magazine, the poll found that 90% said print is the format they prefer, although they’re not afraid of the Internet.  48% “go online to find more information about the advertisements in…printed magazines.”  Read more at

Readers sure miss their DOMINO!  A poll by asked: “Which Magazine Do You Miss the Most?”  And 33% answered with the title of the defunct shelter title.  Almost as many (29%) missed satire magazine SPY.  GOURMET, LIFE and METROPOLITAN HOME rounded out the top five, but with quite a bit less votes (11%, 9% and 7% respectively.)  Minonline has more here.

Video production by magazines in the first quarter of 2010 is up 90% compared to the same period in 2009, technology provider Brightcove found.  For more, click here.

Hispanic magazine ad spending is up 8% through April this year: VANIDADES is up a whopping 57%; SIEMPRE MUJER up an amazing 29%; LATINA up 17%; PEOPLE EN ESPANOL up 15%.  All per the Media Economics Group blog here.

“Retail magazine sales continued to be soft through the first quarter of 2010, although the declines were not as steep, percentage-wise, as they were for last year, when units fell by double digit rates,” reports The New Single Copy, a newsletter about magazine distribution.  “Of course, the January through March dollar falloff of nearly five percent and the 6.7% drop in units are being measured against the same period in 2009, when the magazine distribution channel nearly imploded and deliveries were disrupted to many major retail chains for months.”

Survey Reports Most Read Articles in Second Quarter

Self articleRecent research from Affinity’s VISTA Print Rating Service has established the most popular – or at least read – articles during the months of April, May and June.

The results are based on surveys of readers of over 100 consumer magazines with more than 1,000 articles.  The company measured how many remembered the article (total readership), and how many read more than half of the feature story (extent of readership).

These are the top ten most read articles with magazine and issue date:

  1. 20 Ways to Eat Healthier Right Now, SELF, June
  2. The Green Energy Economy, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, April
  3. Hot Nights Out!, PEOPLE STYLEWATCH, June/July
  4. How Our Salaries Are Changing, PARADE, April 12
  5. I Am So Alone, US WEEKLY, April 20
  6. The Soul of Beyonce, EBONY, April
  7. The Truth about How We Eat, WOMAN’S DAY, April 14
  8. How Dolly Does It, AARP THE MAGAZINE, May/June
  9. Fashion Stakeout, ALLURE, June
  10. At One with the Land, ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST, April

New Magazine Measurements from MRI Will Be Available Earlier

Mediamark logoThe magazine measurement firm Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI) has announced it will start delivering its issue-specific magazine ratings two to six weeks earlier.

The data is based on weekly online surveys conducted with 5,000 American adults.  This means publishers and media planners can compare different issues of the same magazine to determine, for example, whether some cover art and cover lines work better than others.

Net Loss of 92 Magazines So Far in 2009

MediaFinderAccording to, an online database owned by Oxbridge Communications, there were 187 new magazines started in the first half of 2009.  But there were an unprecedented number of magazines folding, 279, which means a net loss of 92 titles.

The magazine category faring the worst was regional publications with 27 titles closing, including DENVER LIVING, FLORIDA INSIDE OUT, OCEAN DRIVE EN ESPANOL.  The lifestyle category saw 14 titles shuttering, business saw 10, including Conde Nast’s PORTFOLIO.

Trade magazines were not spared with construction-related titles hit the hardest with 18 magazines gone due to the difficult conditions in the American real estate market.

And, if you for some reason don’t believe this is an exceptional year, consider this: The number of major, well-known titles that closed in the first six months of 2009 was double the number that closed in all of 2008.

The Top 50 Canadian Magazines

Canadian flagThe Top 50 list of magazines in Canada, per, is out and the top 10 of those are (in order):

READER’S DIGEST (Canadian version)
TIME Canadian version – is now ceased)

No real surprises there.  The interesting list is the “up-and-comers,” i.e. the ones that almost made the list:


You can catch up on the whole list here.

It’s Amazing How Cheerful the New MPA Handbook Can Get

MPASure, the Magazine Publishers of America is the US lobbying…eh, trade organization for the magazine industry, but even in a recession, they can’t find ANY troubling statistics, except for ad pages?  But then they paid for most of the research.

So, let’s suspend all disbelief and wade into some interesting numbers for 2008:

Total number of magazines: 20,590
Total number consumer titles: 7,383

Just keep in mind that these numbers include annuals, semi-annuals, special interest magazines, i.e. the kitchen sink.

Number of magazines with websites: 13,247
Number of consumer magazines with websites: 7,473

Total number of new magazines launched (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and quarterly only): 195

Top 5 new magazines launched by category:
18 metropolitan/regional/state
18 sports
14 crafts/games/hobbies/models
13 automotive
11 home/home service

Advertising contributed 59% to a magazine’s bottom line, subscriptions 28% and single-copy sales 13%.  (2007 stats for some reason, which was not divulged.)

There are a few “you had to do research to find that out?”  Such as website visits increased if the URL was included in the ad.

But one lurking problem that should have been pointed out but isn’t, can be found in the chart on page 14, “Subscription/Single Copy Sales 1999 – 2008” which shows that “in 2008, 88% of total circulation was from magazine subscriptions, while single copy sales accounted for the remaining 12%.”

But the chart also shows that total magazine sales have not increased since 1999 (the earliest year shown,) even though the US population is growing.  Which means magazines are losing readers.

You can check it out yourself here.

Good News for Online Magazines: Broadband Growing Despite Recession

A survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that people are twice as likely to say they have cut back or canceled a cell phone plan or cable TV service than Internet service.

The research shows 63% of adult Americans surveyed now have broadband Internet connections at home; home broadband adoption rates are up 15% in 2009.  The growth in broadband adoption indicates that the recession has had little effect on decisions about whether to buy or keep a home high-speed Internet connection.

Research Company Launches First-Ever Ad Ratings for Consumer Magazines

mediamarklogo09Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI) has announced the launch of Admeasure, the advertising industry’s first ad ratings for major consumer magazines.

“Historically, a magazine’s total readership was accepted as a proxy for ad exposure,” said Kathi Love, CEO of MRI.  “But accountability-focused advertisers are demanding more direct measurement of the reach of their ad campaigns.”  AdMeasure claims to measure how many readers actually saw the ad, as well as how many took an action as a result of seeing it.

Find more information here.