A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers titled “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2011-2015,” indicates that print advertising sales will remain relatively flat through 2015 as readers continue to shift toward digital media. While that’s good news for digital sales – the report says digital advertising could reach $2.8 billion by 2015 – that means even less money being spent on print, which is where magazines make their money.
As Adweek points out, digital growth compounds the problem for magazines:
Underlying weakness in circulation will prevent publishers from growing print advertising at more than a modest pace. Competition from free sources, a weak economy, and decline in store visits has threatened newsstand and subscription sales. Celebrity and news magazines are particularly at risk because they trade in information that’s widely available for free online.
But let’s all remember that the report is just an estimate of what will happen. There’s still hope that magazines can maintain some print ad sales growth. We’ll just have to wait and see.