Challenging times for business magazines
Dorian Benkoil of Corante writes about the challenges facing business magazines.
Benkoil wrote, ” It’s also worth noting for business mags that while dollars in aggregate are down 2.7 percent, ad pages were down 6.8 percent, which means page rates were increased. For how long can ad rates continue to go up in the category as competition for ad dollars increases. Also, while Inc. and Fast Company are up, that’s against years of previous losses. So it’s a relative thing.
“Conde Nast Portfolio isn’t on the chart I prepared because it’s new, and therefore the $13 million-plus it’s gotten this year is compared to zero for last. Nevertheless, thatâ€™s quite a feat that, if annualized, would put Portfolio in the top four. But while those dollars would seem to be coming from the other business magazines â€“ taking a significant slice of a shrinking pie â€“ executives at the mag point out that it has also gotten a lot of its revenue from luxury brands very familiar to the Conde sales force but not so used to many of the other business magazines. So, they’re reaching into a different pie for a significant chunk of their wealth.
“Finally, I came across some figures that showed that business magazines, until a few years ago the unparalleled leaders in ad pages and for a while in ad dollars, too, have declined heavily next to celebrity mags.
“Business magazines faced similar issues before. In the 1980s, when certain kinds of business-to-business advertising declined, business mags rejuvenated themselves by pitching to new classes of advertising, such as cars and liquor. This time, they may want to do the same thing, but it’s harder to think of a major ad category thatâ€™s both underserved and appropriate.”
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