Media Moves

Declines in ad revenue for Business 2.0, BusinessWeek and Money in June

July 20, 2006

Statistics posted on the Magazine Publishers of America web site show that among the business glossies, Business 2.0, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and Money all had an incredibly bad month in June, while the other biz magazines showed gains.

And for the year, BusinessWeek has fallen behind Forbes in terms of ad dollars.

BusinessWeekBusiness 2.0 posted the biggest decline in terms of a percentage loss, dropping 28.5 percent to $3.9 million in ads sold in June. BusinessWeek reported a decline of 18.7 percent to $26 million in ads sold last month.

Fast Company’s ad sales declined 27.7 percent to $2.5 million, while Money’s ad sales fell 20.4 percent to $12.4 million.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Economist saw a 33.4 percent gain in advertising to $7.7 million in the month, while Forbes‘ June sales rose 21.2 percent to $31.9 million and Fortune saw a healthy gain of 18.9 percent to $22.4 million.

Inc. magazine had a 9.9 percent increase in ad sales to $7.4 million, while SmartMoney showed a 5.6 percent increase to $4.8 million in ad sales for the month.

See the June numbers here, and year-to-date numbers here. The six-month figures show that BusinessWeek is down by 11 percent for the year, and Fortune is down slightly, while Money is down by 5 percent and Fast Company is down 21 percent, but all of the rest of the business magazines have seen an increase in ad sales for the year. As all magazine reporters and editors know, more ad sales mean more pages in the book, which means more space for articles.

My interpretation of these numbers: BusinessWeek editor in chief Stephen Adler, who has been on the job for just more than a year, must be feeling some pressure to turn these numbers around. It’s been a given for quite some time that Fast Company has been struggling, but it’s a surprise to see BusinessWeek perform poorly against Forbes and Fortune.

In terms of ad dollars, Forbes outsold BusinessWeek in the first six months of the year, while Fortune is less than $1 million behind BusinessWeek. Last year, BusinessWeek outsold both of its business magazine competitors in the first six months of the year by more than $10 million.

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