Private Frazer’s Doomed Magazines

April 4, 2008

Crystal balls

Filed under: B2B magazines,consumer magazines,figures — privatefraser @ 8:44 am

The Advertising Association have issued their forecast for ad spend in 2008. They expect consumer magazines to lose 1.2% overall and B2B titles to dip 0.8% which, based on the figures for ad spend in 2006 (the latest available) would mean consumer titles losing just under £10 million of advertising revenue this year and B2B suffering a loss of just over £8 million. But are they being too optimistic? Private Frazer has been playing with his abacus…An internet search found the AA 2005 forecast which predicted a growth of 2.3% for consumer titles and 1.7% for B2B. The AA’s figures for the actual performance for 2005 was consumer growth of less than 1% and B2B actually falling by 1.7%. Private Frazer’s raddled old memory doesn’t remember much talk about economic slowdowns in 2005 (‘credit fuelled boom’ was more appropriate) so if magazines can’t do well when the economy is going gangbusters, how are we going to cope when the long-term structual changes in advertising meet slashed advertising budgets?

Private Frazer would like to hear from anyone who has got the AA forecasts from 2006 and 2007. It would be interesting to see just how (in)accurate they were for those years.

And because it’s a quiet day in the parlour here’s a few more figures for you. Private Frazer has gone into the PPA’s excellent ‘Magazine Media Handbook’ (downloadable here) and looked at the number of UK magazine titles and the total advertising revenue that they generate and divided one by the other. Revenue has been going down, but the number of titles have been going up – less money divided by more magazines equals overcapacity. We’re due a clearout and it’s not a matter of ‘if’ – the only question is ‘when’.

B2B Consumer
Total ad revenue (£m) No. of titles Rev per title Total ad revenue (£m) No. of titles Rev per title
2001 £1,202 5342 £225,009 £779 3120 £249,679
2002 £1,088 5208 £208,909 £785 3130 £250,799
2003 £1,048 5108 £205,168 £784 3229 £242,800
2004 £1,082 5142 £210,424 £819 3324 £246,390
2005 £1,064 5108 £208,301 £827 3366 £245,692
2006 £1,016 5113 £198,709 £812 3445 £235,704
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