The Publishers Information Bureau today released magazine advertising revenue statistics for the fourth quarter of 2009 and the full year. Not surprisingly, both ad pages and revenues were down during the quarter and for the year, compared to numbers from 2008. However, the fourth quarter showed less of a decline than the third quarter of 2009, possibly foreshadowing a turn-around or indicating that 2008′s fourth quarter wasn’t so fantastic either.
Total magazine rate-card reporting ad revenue for all of 2009 showed a 18.1 percent decline compared to 2008. Ad pages saw a 25.6 percent drop, the PIB said.
For last quarter, magazines generated $5.8 billion in advertising revenue, a 12.4 percent decrease compared to the same quarter in 2008, PIB reported. Ad pages dropped 21.6 percent during the quarter. But compare that to 2009′s third quarter, where the total magazine rate-card-reported ad revenue dropped 18.6 percent and pages dropped 26.6 percent compared to the same period in 2008.
And there were, of course, some bright spots. The Food & Food Products ad category was the only sector monitored by PIB that saw growth in the fourth quarter. Its revenue jumped 21.9 percent last quarter and ad pages climbed 9.8 percent. The category was also the only one to show a revenue increase for the full year of 2009, registering a 1.4 percent growth. PIB chalked this increase up to growth in ads for cooking ingredients, mixes and seasonings.
Some other categories showed promise by the end of the year — if not necessarily growth — including Finance, Insurance & Real Estate; Direct Response Companies; Toiletries & Cosmetics; and Automotive. “The fourth quarter of 2009 marks the first time Automotive declines have been in single digits since fourth quarter 2007, with the category showing a more than 80 percent increase in fourth quarter versus the average quarterly spending earlier in the year,” PIB said.
What’s more, some subcategories — household cleansers, pet foods/supplies, drugs, toiletries and fitness products — actually showed growth in 2009, which could lead to a boost in the overall category in the coming year.