US Magazine Revenues Hit New High

23 September 2004

US readers' insatiable appetites for celebrity news, sport and politics have put three Time Warner weeklies at the top of the magazine tree.

Advertising Age's annual survey of the top 300 magazines in the country shows gross advertising and circulation revenue of $32.49bn (€26.5bn, £ in 2003, surpassing the previous record in 2000 of $31.23bn.

Contributing mightily to these latest numbers are, in order of revenues, People ($1.24bn), Sports Illustrated ($936.2m) and Time ($920.8m).

People won the gross ad revenue top spot with $751m, while TV Guide won the circulation revenue prize at $541.1m.

Ad pages rose 0.9 percent in 2003 for the Top 300 to 345,502. Monthlies, accounting for 182 of the Top 300 titles, grew 2.3 percent in ad pages as weeklies (62 magazines) declined 2.7 percent and fortnightlies ended the year virtually as they started, down 0.1 percent.

Advertisers of vehicles, pharmaceuticals, home furnishings and beauty products helped the rise in ad pages. The only advertisers not making a comeback towards 2000 levels were direct response and technology.

The top 300 recorded a 5.6 million net gain in circulation. Paid subscribers rose 2.6 percent to 323.8 million while newsstand sales slipped 5.6 percent to 42.1 million copies, resulting in a 1.8 percent gain in circulation gross revenue.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff