NEW YORK Year-over-year magazine ad revenue page declines accelerated in the third quarter as the ongoing weakness in the economy led to declines across a broad swath of advertising categories.
Rate-card-reported ad revenue for the third quarter dropped 8.8 percent over the year-ago quarter, with pages off almost 13 percent, per figures released Oct. 14 by Publishers Information Bureau, a service of Magazine Publishers of America. (Related: 'Outlook for Ad Business Grim.')
Categories showing steep revenue declines in the third quarter included the usual suspects of automotive, which was down nearly 24 percent; drugs down 16.5 percent; and home furnishings off about 8.5 percent. Also down, however, were categories that had earlier been among the few growth spots: food (off 18.5 percent), retail (down almost 7 percent), media (down 4 percent-plus) and public transportation and hotels/resorts (off 2.3 percent).
For the first three quarters overall, total revenue closed down 5 percent, with pages down 9.5 percent.
Magazines' ad performance has worsened as the year has progressed. In the second quarter, ad revenue declined 4.7 percent and pages were off 8.2 percent. In the first quarter, total revenue was down just 1.2 percent with pages off 6.5 percent.