Magazine Ad Revenue Still Down

NEW YORK — Total magazine advertising revenue continued to decline in July, primarily the result of extreme decreases in marketing efforts from technology, financial-services, media and retail concerns.

Total magazine advertising revenue for the month of July closed at about $1.07 billion, marking a year-over-year decrease of 7.9 percent, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, an industry trade association. Advertising pages for July came to 15,566, down 17 percent from last year.

Year to date, ad revenue fell 3.4 percent, closing at about $9.1 billion. Ad pages fell 12 percent year to date, coming in at 137,301.

Technology advertising revenue fell 39 percent to $95.6 million in July, the PIB said, while ad dollars from financial, insurance and real estate firms fell 25 percent to about $62.2 million. Among the bright spots: transportation and travel advertising revenue rose 13 percent to about $46.6 million; ad dollars from toiletries and cosmetics concerns increased 26 percent to about $91.3 million; and revenue from direct-response firms rose 10 percent to about $73.7 billion.

Publications that benefited from the sharp increase in dot-com advertising in recent years felt the trends most strongly.

McGraw Hill Cos.’ (MHP) Business Week saw July ad revenue fall 42 percent to about $27.7 million. Ad pages are down 48 percent for the month. Through July, Business Week’s ad dollars are down 30 percent, the PIB said.

Business 2.0, the magazine recently acquired by AOL Time Warner Inc. (AOL) and relaunched this week, saw ad revenue for July fall 84.5 percent to about $1.2 million. Ad pages are down 92 percent, the PIB said. Year to date, Business 2.0’s ad revenue is off 44 percent.

Standard Media’s Industry Standard saw July ad revenue fall 79 percent to about $2.6 million. Ad pages dropped 85 percent. Ad dollars are off 62 percent through July, the PIB said.

Red Herring Communications’ Red Herring magazine saw ad dollars fall 70 percent to about $2.6 million, while ad pages are off by 77 percent, the PIB said. Red Herring’s ad revenue has fallen 20 percent through July.

Some magazines have managed to do well in a challenging environment.

Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, which is owned by Washington Post Co.’s (WPO) Newsweek unit, saw ad revenue soar 103 percent to $1.6 million in July, while ad pages rose 68 percent, the PIB said. The travel magazine’s ad dollars have risen 31 percent through July.