Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Publishers Get Some Good News

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Publishers Get Some Good News

Article excerpt

The middle of the decade is here, the end of the millennium is nigh, and the magazine business is back on track. But will it stay that way? If you believe those who dare to predict the future, it will.

Media prognosticators say that advertising sales will continue to grow in 1995--although not as vigorously as last year--with most forecasters predicting an increase of 5 to 7 percent. Since the 1990-1991 recession, when the bottom fell out of ad spending, revenues have gradually crept back to profitable levels. For the first 11 months of 1994, ad revenues for consumer magazines increased 10.2 percent over the same period in 1993, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures, yielding the best results in five years.

"We have regained the volume we had in 1989," says Don Kummerfeld, president of the Magazine Publishers of America. "Are we going to start losing it again? I don't think so."

Robert Coen, senior vice president and forecasting director at New York City-based McCann-Erickson USA, predicts ad sales will grow 6.5 percent in 1995, bringing overall revenue to $8.5 billion. Coen says that the return to traditional advertising--as opposed to the heavy reliance on promotions and coupons earlier in the decade--will drive the increase.

Growth all around

Last year produced positive returns for trade publishers, too, and industry representatives say business-to-business magazines will continue to prosper in '95. "Our members feel very good about 1995," says Gordon Hughes, president of the American Business Press. "I'm hearing the sound of lips turning up; people are smiling."

Hughes says ad revenues for ABP magazines grew to more than $5 billion in 1994, up from $4.7 billion in 1990. But more significant, he notes, is that the growth was not the result of one hot market segment buoying the numbers for the industry as a whole. …

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