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Look out Newspapers, Make Room Down There for Magazines

Everyone knows that newspapers are dying off, and it isn't a shocker that magazines are heading in the same direction:
Ad pages for BusinessWeek, which just went through its third round of cuts in three years, tumbled 19.4 percent in the quarter to 429.5 ad pages while rival Forbes dipped 13.2 percent to 504.8 ad pages, according to the latest figures reported to the Publishers Information Bureau.

Fortune looked like the best of the lot, with only a 1 percent drop in the quarter to 429.4.

The newsweeklies are also taking it hard. Newsweek, which recently unveiled plans to downsize 111 people, saw ad pages drop 13.9 percent to 339.

Ad pages for Time, which also continues to prune staffers, skidded 17.8 percent to 371.

U.S News & World Report dropped even further, with its ad pages tumbling 37.5 percent to 229.46 pages.

The only time I buy magazines anymore is we travel - they make good plane reading - and the choice is usually one of the news weeklies, Sports Illustrated or the gossip rags. I'm actually always amazed that anyone buys one of the big, full page glossy ads in any of them. The common characteristic of 99.9% of these ads is that they disappear in the readers hands - no one notices them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems to me to be a bad ad purchase then....

Now with that, there are still some viable magazine ads. Women's magazines on fashion and clothes - those seem like reasonable ad buys. Women buy them to learn about the latest styles and trends - seems like a perfect opportunity for those who make the latest styles and trends to advertise. Lucky magazine is the top of this format - it consists entirely of ads. Its 300 plus pages every month and has no articles, just ads. This is a good business. Same with the verticals. Skiiing magazine is probably a great place to advertise skis, ski wear, etc. Not sure its a huge business, but its a reasonable ad platform.

The rest of the magazine rack - the general purpose weeklies - they seem like they're in trouble. They sell an ineffective product in a shrinking market. Not good. Now, if only they had a plan....

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 15, 2008 11:20 AM.

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