U.S. Magazine Ad Sales Drop Widened in 2009

January 16th, 2010

The Publishers Information Bureau has released its tally for 2009 (based on 250 members) and U.S. magazine ad sales were off by 18.1% last year while the total number of advertising pages dropped 25.6% compared to 2008. BusinessWeek points out that the revenue decrease is “more than twice as steep as a year earlier…The drop in 2008 was 7.8 percent. Ad pages fell 26 percent.”

Discovering a silver lining in a very dark cloud, Ellen Oppenheim, EVP/Chief Executive Officer, Magazine Publishers of America pointed out that “While marketers’ skittishness continued through the fourth quarter, magazine spending showed improvement compared to earlier in 2009. Magazines experienced an uptick in food spending and relative improvement in other areas, especially in automotive.”

I’m unable to find comparable Canadian data. Some anecdotal reports suggest that Canada has fared poorly; others that it has largely escaped the carnage in the U.S. magazine industry. But numbers are scarce.

Regardless, the picture at ths point for magazines in North America, as it is or newspapers, remains bleak.