Newsstand has taken a definite turn for the worse for a handful of niche and small magazine with the news that Leeds-based distributor Native Publisher Services has closed the doors.
As we know from past instances of distributors going under, it’s not just the loss of newsstand sales for forthcoming issues that is the problem, it’s the lost cash for previous months’ sales that can drive smaller publishers to the brink. Distributors are the link between the publisher and the newsstand, so they will typically be holding 60-90 days worth of publishers’ copy sales revenues.
I’m trying to find a list of the titles affected – any information that readers of this blog may have of the magazines Native distributed would be appreciated.
Hot on the heels of Centaur’s closure of Public Sector Building, Unity Media has suspended Public Sector and Local Government Building magazine.
Amusingly, they say that this is a “temporary suspension of the publication, which will be reviewed at a later date”.
Yeah, right, as I believe the young people say.
Running counter to the hope that advertising might be picking up in the US, is this wee bit of news courtesy of Folio:
Consumer magazines continued its general circulation decline through the first half, with total paid and verified circ. slipping 2.27%, … Newsstand sales also continued to dive, falling 5.63%.
Figures from UBM courtesy of Press Gazette
United Business Media increased profits in the first six months of the year despite a 14% drop in revenue at its magazine division…
The company said its print magazines business provided [just] 4.4% of UBM’s overall operating profit as it saw revenue in the division drop 13.9% year-on-year…
Operating profit at its magazine division rose 12.1% to £3.7m. UBM said the improved profitability came, in-part, from a cyclical improvement in ad revenues, but more significantly from its strategy [of]… closing, merging and reducing the publication frequency of weaker titles.
UBM closed 31 titles and merged or reduced the frequency of others throughout 2009…
David Levin, chief executive of UBM, said: “In the first half we launched one new print title and closed four others.”
Hat tip to John for this story
The latest Bellwether survey reveals that marketing budgets were revised down in Q2 amid uncertainty regarding the economic outlook, with around 20% of companies reporting a downward revision against 15% that reported an increase. Business confidence has also dipped with positive sentiment the lowest for a year.
Media Week make flesh the rumours that have been circulating over the last week that the magazine distributor MMC is about to go into administration.
“Media Week understands about 50% of MMC’s clients are waiting for overdue payments” they say, but ‘overdue’ in this context means outside of the usual 90 day payment terms. The most significant thing here is that MMC have a wide range of small and niche titles who are going to be left without income for at least the last three months’ editions and may find it difficult to shrug off this revenue loss. Companies with a lot of exposure include the fishing magazine specialist David Hall, The Oldie, Wisden, Jazz Publishing and Our Dogs. None of these are really of the size where a loss of tens of thousands isn’t going to hurt.
Still gloom and doom for US B2B publishers according to the latest American Business Media figures as reported in Folio: Last year advertising pages for trade magazines fell 28.6% compared to 2008, with estimated ad revenues down 24%.
It’s been an interesting few days for B2B results, so let’s summarise the good news:
UBM’s print division: revenues down 23.1% to £165.8m and operating profit down 62.8% to £8.9m
Informa: operating profit down 11% to £145.7m in 2009 on revenue down 4% to £1.2bn
Centaur: revenue fell 24%, a loss before tax of £1.7m in the last six months of 2009
RBI: operating profit fell to £89m in 2009 from the £126m the previous year, a 35% drop in consistent currencies. Revenue was down to £891m last year from £987m in 2008, a fall of 18% in consistent currencies.
DMGT: revenues from the group’s B2B operations in the quarter were £186 million, 20% lower than for the corresponding period in 2008. Revenue from DMGT’s Euromoney business fell by 16% to £71 million.
The headline the Advertising Association want you to notice is:
AA/Warc predict the ad recession to end by Autumn 2010
- But as usual, the devil is in the detail; and what a great, big, evil-smelling devil this is. A few snippets: (more…)
Latest news from our American cousins. And guess what? It isnae good.
The Publishers Information Bureau has released its 2009 year-end magazine advertising report. It revealed that ad pages for 2009 were down 25.6%, while estimated revenues closed at $19.45 billion, a drop of 18.1%. That makes 10 quarterly falls out of eleven since mid 2007.
Even comparing the 4th quarter of 2009 with the very grim end of 2008 ad pages were down 21% and revenues over 12% off. Does anyone fancy calling the bottom of this market? 2011? 2012? Never?