ANATOMY OF A CATEGORY DISCOUNT: NEWSWEEKLIES

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Average published page rate: $142,417

(based on a one time open page rate)

Average category discount: 39%

(based on Advertising Age survey of print buyers)

Average actual page rate after discount: $86,874

August 1998 newsweekly category pages: 493.8

August 1998 newsweekly gross revenue: $42,898,381

PIB newsweekly gross ad revenue estimates: $79,151,561

(August 1998)

Gross ad revenue difference: $36,253,180 (-46%)

Based on an Advertising Age analysis of data from Publishers Information Bureau and Standard Rate & Data Service, reported advertising revenue totals for the newsweekly category would be over-stated by a factor of about 85% if category discounts are applied.

PIB reported gross revenues of $79,151,561 for the three newsweekly titles -- Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report -- for August. The revenue estimates were based on 493.8 pages of advertising sold by the three weeklies during the month of August.

Using the one-time open page rates reported in the August 1998 SRDS, the three newsweeklies would average a one-time rate of $142,417. After factoring an industry average discount of 39%, the 493.8 pages sold in the newsweekly category would have generated $42,898,381 in gross advertising revenues for the month of August, or 46% less than was officially reported by PIB.

The Advertising Age discount estimates are based on a survey that is not necessarily projectable to a true industry average. But even assuming some latitude in the survey estimates, official magazine industry revenue tallies appear to be grossly exaggerated.

Source: Ad revenues/page totals: Publishers Information Bureau; Published page rates: Standard Rate & Data Service; Discount: Advertising Age survey of magazine buyers.

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