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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

2004 : Best Year Since 2000 For Business Magazines

(ViaBTOB Magazine)Led by Time Inc.’s Business 2.0, business publications in 2004 turned in their best year since 2000, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures released by the Magazine Publishers of America.With the exception of Fast Company, every major business publication posted gains in ad pages in 2004 over 2003, according to PIB. Business 2.0 posted the highest percentage gain in ad pages, a jump of 23.8%. Other so-called "new economy" or technology-oriented publications turned in strong performances, with Wired up 15.5% in ad pages and PC Magazine growing 1.4%. Fast Company, however, saw its ad pages dwindle by 12.3%. The big three business books each posted gains: Fortune was up 11.5%, followed by Forbes (11.3%) and BusinessWeek (4.2%). Other business publications also increased their ad pages, with Inc. up 14.5%; Barron’s, 8.4%; and The Economist, 2.6%.
The PIB data showed that consumer publications overall posted a 3.8% gain in ad pages in 2004 compared with 2003. A pessimist could point to the ad-page growth in 2004 as being of questionable strength because it built on several down years. For instance, Forbes had 6,083 ad pages in 2000 but only 3,470 in 2004. Similarly, BusinessWeek had $573.3 million in revenue in 2000 but just $365.6 million in 2004. The category as a whole is a shadow of what it once was.However, an optimist could argue that the ad page growth is just one indicator of a publishing brand’s overall health. Web advertising has skyrocketed for these publications, and it is an often hidden indicator of just how strong a publishing brand is. At Ziff Davis Media’s PC Magazine, for instance, online revenue leaped 86.2% in 2004 compared with 2003. "We look at the brand of PC Magazine holistically, as both a print and Web entity," said Tim Castelli, senior VP-group publisher.With growth on the Web and in print, business media executives are optimistic for 2005.

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