Mediaweek Monitor: Mag Ad Declines Flattening Out

Magazine advertising pages are still declining, but for what it’s worth, the declines aren’t getting any steeper.

For the first half of 2009, magazine ad volume stood at 66,284 pages, a decline of 23.8 percent versus the same period a year ago, per Mediaweek’s Monitor. That’s nothing to celebrate, but it’s roughly even with the first quarter, when ad pages were down 22.8 percent. (For complete results, go to The year-over-year declines don’t take into consideration titles that have folded in the past year, however.

Looking at the declines by category, the worst performing included those that depend on luxury ads and other areas where consumers have cut back spending. Wealth, including titles like Robb Report and Town & Country, was down 37.4 percent, while Travel (Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler) was off 32.1 percent. Largest individual decliners included Power & Motoryacht, down 62.8 percent; Departures, off 50 percent; and Wired, down 47.1 percent.

Categories that have mass audiences or depend on advertisers that are still spending proved more resilient. Among them were Parenting/Kids (down 11.3 percent), Women’s Health/Fitness (off 14.4 percent) and Women’s Lifestyle/Service (down 14.6 percent).