Outlook 2006: Web Advertising Alters The Magazine Landscape

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Though 2005 saw modest growth in magazine advertising, business-to-business publications and some consumer magazine categories are still struggling. In BTB, the 900-pound gorilla is the Internet and Web advertising. BTB advertisers increasingly are diverting print budgets to the Web, and there is little indication that this will change.

The challenge for BTB publishers, and all publishers for that matter, is creating a meaningful presence on the Web and finding a way to monetize it. Though it was not good news across the board for consumer magazine categories (e.g., newsweeklies, food magazines, etc.), the hemorrhaging seems to have stopped. And some growth, albeit again modest, can be projected for 2006.

The issues affecting consumer magazine advertising this year are, in similar fashion to BTB publishers, the Internet and Web advertising, the increasing demands for events and other added-value programs; rate negotiation and a tough stance on rate increases; last-minute issue-by-issue advertising decisions; and few, if any, multiple-issue contracts.

Among other issues for consumer magazines this year are the difficulties in dealing with planning and buying agencies that tend to look solely at numbers rather than the uniqueness of individual titles; the yet-undetermined implications of new Audit Bureau of Circulations and BPA Worldwide circulation auditing rules; and what, if any, effect digital magazine editions will have on advertisers and in the marketplace.


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