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Magazines Suffer New Adspend Drop as Tech Revenue Remains Depressed

News, 09 August 2001

America’s magazine industry witnessed yet another fall in ad revenue in July, reports the Publishers Information Bureau, with year-on-year comparisons still distorted by last year’s dotcom-driven boom.

Total magazine sector ad revenue last month was $1.07 billion, down 7.9% on July 2000. Over the same period, ad pages tumbled 17% to 15,566.

Driving the decline was a 39% fall in tech spend (to $95.6m) and a 25% drop in revenue from financial services firms (to $62.2m). However, there were increases in ad dollars from the travel, direct-response and toiletries and cosmetics sectors, to $46.6m (+13%), $73.7m (+10%) and $91.3m (+26%) respectively.

July’s figures mean that adspend in the year so far has fallen 3.4% to around $9.1 billion, with ad pages falling 12% to 137,301.

Unsurprisingly, magazines dependent on ad revenue from tech firms are suffering particularly. Among the casualties are:

* Business Week, published by McGraw Hill. Ad revenue for July was down 42% year-on-year to $27.7m, with ad pages tumbling 48%. Advertising dollars for the year to date are down 30%.

* Business 2.0, recently acquired by AOL Time Warner [WAMN: 11-Apr-01]. July’s ad pages were down 92%, with revenue sinking 84.5% to $1.2m. In the year so far, ad income is down 44%.

* Red Herring Communications’ flagship magazine Red Herring. Ad dollars last month tumbled 70% to $2.6m, ad pages were down 77%, while revenue in the year to date has fallen 20%.

* Industry Standard, published by Standard Media. July’s revenue fell 79% (to $2.6m) and its ad pages 85%. Ad income so far in 2001 has dropped 62%.

However, some magazines are defying the slowdown – Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, owned by Newsweek, saw ad revenue leap 103% (to $1.6m) and ad pages 68% last month. In the year to date, its ad dollars are up 31%.

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