Magazine ad pages, revenue both fall in January after strong finish to ’05

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New York—After ending 2005 on a positive note, magazine ad pages and revenue declined in January, according to figures released Wednesday by the Magazine Publishers of America’s Publishers Information Bureau.

Ad pages fell nearly 2% and total magazine rate-card reported ad revenue dropped 0.3%, compared with January 2005.

In December, ad page volume had risen 3.4% and revenue was also up 3.4%, compared with the year-earlier period.

Seven of the top 12 major advertising categories saw ad page declines in January, with automotive down 25%, home furnishing and supplies down 8% and both direct response and toiletries and cosmetics off 7%. Five categories posted positive gains, with drugs and remedies up 18%, and financial, insurance and real estate up 17%.

It was a mixed bag for the business books in January. Fortune took a severe hit, as ad revenue plunged 31% compared with the same period in 2005, and ad pages fell 35%.

Ad revenue for Forbes was down 7%, while ad pages fell 5%. Ad revenue was down 2% for The Economist and ad pages off 14%.

BusinessWeek, which ended 2005 in negative territory adwise and late last year shuttered its European and Asian print editions, bucked the downward trend. Its ad revenue was up 13% while pages rose 19%.

—Matthew Schwartz

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