Art & Commerce



By Alan Gottesman





Periodic Table Stock investors have their favorite indicators to tell them when the market is getting ‘toppy,’ which, even after the recent pullback, remains a concern. Many of these gauges are just different ways of measuring speculative excess. A frothy market for smoke-and-mirror IPOs, for example, or triple-digit price/earnings ratios for companies that–what was it again that this company does? Like the big auction house on Wall Street, the ad market has been strong lately. Are there new directional signs along Madison Avenue? Check the magazine rack. According to the Publishers Information Bureau, the 25 ‘books’ with the most ad pages saw a 5.8 percent increase in ad-page count in the first quarter and a 13.9 percent spike in revenue. On balance, revenue per ad page grew 7.4 percent in the period, but there’s a wide range of performance within the group. As the table shows, magazines aimed at buyers and sellers of luxury goods scored big. Conversely, the more established titles, with a more mainstream client roster, lagged. –Alan Gottesman (westendal@pobox.com) is principal of West End Consulting.





THE GOTTESMAN FILE





Ad demand for books aimed at buyers of highly discretionary goods saw strong enough demand to get double-digit gains in revenue per ad page.





……….1995…..1996…..Change





…..Yachting…..6.0…..8.8…..46.0%





…..Home PC…..14.4…..18.5…..27.9%





…..Windows Magazine…..23.1…..28.9…..25.1%





…..US News & World Reports…..104.9…..108.4…..3.3%





…..Vogue…..52.5…..53.8…..2.6%





…..People…..141.8…..142.8…..0.7%





…..25-title average…..61.1…..65.6…..7.4%





Source: PIB for Q1/1997. Revenue per ad page in thousands of dollars





Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED