Magazine article Marketing

Magazines Mean Business

Magazine article Marketing

Magazines Mean Business

Article excerpt

Consumer titles claim the glamour and on-line services the future, but top business publications are attracting the ads and fortifying their position.

Spending money - the core subject matter of many consumer titles - has always been a far more glamorous and attractive topic than that of magazines which tell you how to work better and make more of it.

Yet, in publishing terms, more advertising spend is now flowing into business titles than consumer ones, and that advertising gap is expected to widen.

A quick flick through BRAD shows just how specialised the business and professional press can be, with 5352 business titles published last year - more than twice the total of consumer titles.

Equally surprising has been the resilience of business titles through the recession - though the aftershocks are still being felt. Colin Morrison, chairman of EMAP Business Communications, says: "Through the three years or so of the recession there was no noticeable decline in the number of business magazines, even though we saw year-on-year falls of advertising as much as 40% in some markets."

But if there are as many titles as ever, there is a growing gap within sectors between the fortunes of the leading titles and also-rans.

"If you look at revenue figures in many markets, you notice the share has gone quite strongly towards magazines that are doing the job rather than magazines that have just tried to join in," says Morrison.

Advertising revenue in 1995 is expected to exceed the [pounds]839m high reached in 1989 (in 1994 current prices). Advertising pagination in magazines covering communications, electronics, finance, estates, computing and marketing categories recovered strongly last year.

But catering, medical, grocery, building and architectural titles continued to struggle. EMAP this month shut Public Service & Local Government as a result of the slow construction and architectural sectors.

The steady launch of business titles during the recession has masked the closure of others, and being owned by one of the big players is no guarantee of a magazine's survival: Reed has announced the closure of pan-European business magazine International Management, showing that the prestigious area of horizontal management magazines remains tough.

Even so, VNU bought independently-owned Business Age this spring to add to its stable of leading computer and management titles, including Computing and Accountancy Age. …

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