Media Moves

Business magazines end 2006 on a down note

January 11, 2007

Revenue from advertising for 14 business magazines fell slightly in both December and in 2006, according to data from the Magazine Publishers of America analyzed by Talking Biz News.

The number of ad pages reported by those 14 business magazines fell by a larger decline than the ad revenue.

Ad revenue for the 14 magazines totaled $1.79 billion in 2006, down less than four-tenths of a percent from $1.80 billion in 2005. The number of ad pages in those biz glossies was 19,915 in 2006, down 2.6 percent from 20,401 the year earlier.

The business mags underperformed the overall magazine industry in both numbers. For the industry, ad revenue rose 4.1 percent to $25.9 billion, while ad pages rose by one-tenth of a percent to 252,121.

In December, ad revenue for the 14 business magazines was $172.7 million, down one-Forbes tenth of a precent, while ad pages were off 3.5 percent to 1,937. For the entire industry, ad revenue rose 4.1 percent in December to $2.4 billion, while ad pages fell 1.8 percent to 23,021.

In other words, the business magazine segment is underperforming the rest of the industry.

For the year, Forbes passed BusinessWeek in terms of ad revenue. Forbes’ ad revenue totaled $341.5 million, up 5.6 percent, while BusinessWeek’s ad revenue fell 6.6 percent $310.4 million. Forbes maintained its lead in ad pages with 3,383, nearly a 1 percent gain.

The best performing magazines for the year were Wired, which saw its ad revenue rise 29 percent to $83.2 million and its ad pages increase 18.1 percent to 1279, and the Economist, whose ad revenue rose 16.7 percent to $84.6 million and its ad pages rose 1.1 percent to 2179. (EDIT: I excluded Wired earlier. It was the top performer.)

In December, the Economist again was the best performer, with ad revenue up 30.1 percent to $8.1 million and ad pages up 11.9 percent to 202.5. Inc. also had a strong December, with ad revenue up 19.7 percent to $7.3 million and ad pages up 17 percent to 75.85.

The December data can be found here, while the 2006 data can be found here.

The 14 magazines whose data was compiled for this report were Business 2.0, BusinessWeek, Economist, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, Fortune Small Business, Inc., Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Money, PC Magazine, SmartMoney and Wired.

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