Accuracy in Media

President Obama may think the economy is rolling along, but magazine publishers can only hope that will be the case in 2013, as they recorded their seventh straight year of declining ad pages.

NewsweeklastAccording to the Publishers Information Bureau, ad pages dropped by 8.2 percent in 2012, and marked the steepest decline since a 25.6 percent drop in 2009.

By comparison, ad pages dropped by 3.1 percent in 2011.

Besides battling with a slow growing economy, magazine publishers have also been fighting the rapid growth of social media, which helped contribute to their decline as publishers shuttered magazines that had lost readers to the platform.

Newsweek was the best performer among the newsweeklies, with a 5.5 percent gain in ad pages from 2011—though that was off a low base, and wasn’t enough to save the publication from ceasing its print edition.

Overall, the group suffered an 11.1 percent decline in ad pages from 2011, led by The Week at 24.5 percent, and The Economist and Time clocking in with 12.2 percent declines each.

Even with Newsweek out of the way, the road ahead for the remaining newsweeklies, as well as virtually every magazine still in print, will be tough, as advertisers look for better ways of spending their shrinking ad budgets in what has become a digital world.

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