Martha Stewart Living Magazine Up 38%


Up Just 0.5% Overall as Tech, Auto and Home Categories Drop

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NEW YORK ( -- Magazines' 2005 ad-page counts are in -- and they aren’t pretty. Pages barely moved the needle, climbing a measly 0.5% above their 2004 total, according to a report released yesterday by the Publishers Information Bureau.
'Martha Stewart Living,' 'People,' and 'The Star' all racked up impressive ad page percentage gains in 2005.

See full chart of ad pages by title

The winners
There were winners, like Martha Stewart Living, which racked up a 38.2% increase in ad pages as advertisers welcomed the domestic diva's return to freedom. Advertisers in American Media’s revamped Star made Editorial Director Bonnie Fuller look good; the celebrity-weekly grew its ad pages by 30.1% last year. And People took first place in absolute terms with 3,852 ad pages, an increase of 6.4%.

On the other hand, plenty of magazines took nose dives. Ad pages at Skiing magazine, part of Time Inc.’s Time4 Media division, dropped 20.1%. Fast Company, which Joe Mansueto bought from Gruner & Jahr USA this year, sank 19.8%. PC Magazine lost 19.3%. And Fitness, one of Meredith Corp.'s acquisitions from G&J, saw ad pages shrink by 18.9%.

There was a bright side
On the bright side, ad pages rose in 8 of 12 major advertiser categories. Financial, insurance and real estate advertisers bought 12.7% more ad pages in 2005 than they did in 2004. Personal finance advertising may have given business-book publishers angina all last year, but real estate advertising seems to have buoyed the collective category enough that its ad pages rose in every month but August.

Ad pages promoting food and food products jumped 8.5% in 2005, media and advertising pages rose 7.7% and drugs and remedies ad pages grew 4.1%.

Tech, auto pullouts
But all that only barely overcame the downward pull of categories like technology. Tech marketers cut magazine ad buys more than any other, reducing ad pages by 7.9% in 2005. Automakers turned in their expected dreadful performance, buying 7.1% fewer ad pages last year than they did in 2004. (December didn’t help; auto ad pages sank 14.5% last month from December 2004.) The other big problem category was the home furnishings and supplies category, in which ad pages slipped 7.1% for the year.

To see a full chart of ad pages by title, go to QwikFIND AAR30G, or go to the Data Center section and search under Media.

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