Christmas Comes Early? Magazine Ad Pages Rose 7% In December

magazines tbi

Consumer magazine ad pages rose 7 per cent across monthly magazines in December 2010, according to a press release issued by the Media Industry Newsletter (MIN).

Ad pages for both monthly and weekly magazines rose 4 per cent in the full year of 2010.

However, ad pages are still down 15 per cent from December 2008 — and 30 per cent from December 2007.

MIN breaks down the numbers:

Per MIN, monthly magazine ad pages industry wide increased 7% in December. That compares with +4% in November and +11% in October. (The data is reported when magazines are on-sale at the newsstand.  It reflects total ad pages—paid and unpaid.)  Women’s and Men’s Lifestyle titles generally outperformed, while Fashion/Beauty, Shelter, Food and lagged.

We estimate that Meredith’s (MDP’s) largest magazines fell 4% in December. That compares with -1% in November and +5% in October.  After a long stretch of outperformance, MDP has recently been lagging the broader industry. In December, Better Homes and Gardens fell 2.6% (v. +41.9% a year ago), Family Circle dropped 10.0%, and LHJ declined 4.5%. MORE dipped 0.8% Fitness had a double-issue in November—it rose 19.0%. Parents grew 3.1%, while American Baby dropped 7.6%. Successful Farming slid 12.5%.

MDP’s major competitors were mixed.  Redbook fell 12.1%, Good Housekeeping slipped 4.2%, and Oprah dropped 3.6%. Self declined 4.0%. Prevention spiked 32.5%, Shape rose 19.2%, and Parenting jumped 31.7%.

Time Warner’s monthly magazines (U.S.) fell ~4%.  (Flagship People is -7% for the 1st 8 weeks of Q4,10.  Time is +16%.)  In December, In Style grew 3.1% while Golf Magazine rose 3.0%. Essence fell 14.5%, Real Simple declined 3.9%, Cooking Light dropped 10.0%, and small title All You slipped 6.5%. The Southern Progress titles were mixed—Sunset (+11.0%), Southern Living (-27.2%) and Coastal Living (-25.3%).

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s monthly magazines grew 5%.  Martha Stewart Living rose 3.4% (v. -4.7% in Nov. and +24.6% in Oct.).  Whole Living jumped 28.7%, while Everyday Food fell 11.1%.

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