Canadian Magazine Industry News
24 April 2009,     NATIONAL
Magazine advertising down 16.3% in first quarter
The struggle to sell magazine ad pages in a weak economy continued in the first quarter of 2009. Overall run-of-press ad pages for the country’s leading magazines were down 16.3% compared to the same period last year, according to statistics from Leading National Advertisers, which tracks advertising pages and revenues for 74 consumer, custom and special interest publications. (The 16.3% figure quoted above refers to the 71 magazines tracked by LNA in both 2008 and 2009.)

It was a particularly rough quarter at Canadian Geographic, where ad pages declined by 56.3% compared to the previous year.
The nasty effects of the recession has spread across all categories: 60 of the 71 magazines tracked posted losses in ad pages for the quarter and 37 titles saw declines of 20% or more.

Overall advertising revenues, calculated by LNA using rate-card figures, were down 15.1%, or about $18.6 million. However, considering the widespread and heavy price discounting taking place these days, those numbers probably represent a low estimate of the actual losses taking place.

Titles taking major blows this time around include Canadian Geographic (-56.3%), Teen Tribute (-50%), TV Hebdo/TV 7 Jours (-48%), Canadian Business (-45.6%), LouLou (English) (-44.6%), Vancouver (-41.6%), Report on Business (-40%), Western Living (-39.4%), Tribute (-36.9%), Moneysense (-35.2%), Affaires Plus (-35%), Explore (-34.7%), Financial Post Magazine (-34.2%), and Maclean’s (-30.3%).

In terms of revenue, the biggest drops came at Chatelaine (-$2.6 million), Maclean’s (-$1.5 million), Canadian Business (-$1.3 million), Reader’s Digest (-$1.1 million), Flare (-$1.1 million), Canadian Living (-$1 million), Report on Business (-$795,600), Canadian House & Home (-$738,600), Loulou (English) (-$675,600), and Financial Post Magazine (-$663,400).

Of the handful of magazines which managed to grow their pages in the period, Hello! Canada was most successful, increasing its pages by 42.4% and its revenues by 103.5%, or $1.1 million. Other magazines that had success in the quarter include Tout Simplement Clodine (+78.1% in pages), Espace Parents (+70.4%), Glow (+51%), 7 Jours (+42.4%), More (+17.8%), and Inside Entertainment (+14.8%).

The 16.3% drop represents the fifth consecutive quarterly decline in magazine advertising for LNA-tracked titles:

Q1 2008: -2%
Q2 2008: -3.7%
Q3 2008: -12.2%
Q4 2008: -15.7%
Q1 2009: -16.3%

Overall ad pages for LNA-tracked titles dipped by 9.2% in 2008.
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