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Print Media's First Quarter Results Trickle In, Offer Significant Ammo In Support Of The Thesis That 20% Down Is The New Up.

Posted by: Jon Fine on April 15, 2009

Magazine industry trade title Folio:, reporting on the just-released first-quarter ad data for consumer magazines:

Ad pages in consumer magazines dropped 25.9 percent while ad revenue fell 20.2 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to figures released today by the MPA’s Publishers Information Bureau.

This comes one week after ABM’s Business Information Network reported that ad pages for b-to-b magazines fell 27 percent and revenue dropped 21 percent in January 2009 compared to January 2008.

(The ad revenue metric is widely considered wildly inaccurate, as it only takes into account published ad rates at magazines and does not reflect the kids fo discounts and deals routinely offered to advertisers—discounts that, naturally, get steeper as the overall market toughens.)

Lead paragraph in Richard Perez-Pena's New York Times piece, on how the first quarter is shaping up for newspapers:

Newspaper advertising, already in its worst slump since the Depression, suffered by far the sharpest drop in generations during the first quarter of 2009, down 30 percent for some papers, industry executives and analysts say.

In other words, as we've said over and over again: for print in particular this year, 20% down is the new up.

(And, since Bernstein Research analyst Michael Nathanson is forecasting that local TV station revenue will be down more than 25% in 2009--we can say 20% down is the new up for another medium as well.)



The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.



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