Magazine print ad pages—which, despite the industry's partial success diversifying into digital, remain the lifeblood of the business—are down for the first nine months of the year. But after the worst slide in industry history, they're moving in the right direction.
Ad pages dipped 1.6 percent in January-September vs. the same period a year ago—but pages rose 3.6 percent in Q3, marking the second consecutive quarter of improvement.
The Magazine Publishers of America data is based on publisher-reported pages and revenue.
MPA also reported that overall industry revenue improved in the nine-month period and third quarter, by 2.6 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively.
The steady upswing reflects increased spending in seven of the industry's 12 most important categories. The fastest growth in the third quarter came from automotive advertising, which grew 42 percent in pages; and technology, which rose 12.3 percent.
Categories that are still laggards were direct response (-13.3 percent); public transportation, hotels and resorts (-4.1 percent); financial, insurance and real estate (-2.6 percent); and home furnishings and supplies (-2.1 percent).