With glossy ads, perfume inserts, and colorful pictures, nothing beats reading from a physical magazine.
Although newpapers continue to suffer advertising losses, some major magazine publishers are enjoying a revival in popularity that seemed unfathomable just five years ago when nearly 1,000 titles were shuttered.
Heart Magazines and Condé Nast just marked their best first quarter since 2008, partly as a result of a revival in fashion and beauty advertising. The popular Cosmopolitan (with a new editor), the recently revamped Harper’s Bazaar and Food Network Magazines registered double-digit gains in advertising, bringing Hearst up by 6.6 percent in ad pages overall. On the other hand, Bon Appetit, Details and GQ helped Condé Nast rise 3.3 percent since last year.
How the newly disaggregated Time Inc. will fare remains up in the air as the industry’s biggest publisher is spun out of Time Warner to become a stand-alone public company. This quarter, its ad pages grew 0.6 percent, with InStyle up 5.5 percent and the last major U.S. newsweekly Time down 13.4 percent, according to the Publishers information Bureau.
Hearst and Condé Nast manage to keep their print editions fresh while turning their magazines into brands with audiences that extend across devices, websites, social media and events. A surge in ad pages remains the key marker of industry success and a sign that marketers still manage to see a glossy future in paper and ink.
“The fashion consumer, the beauty consumer continue to tell us that magazines are her primary source of information about those categories,” said Michael Clinton, Heart’s Publishing Director. “The fashion consumer wants to hold, feel, touch, turn the page.”