March 2013 may have been a good month for glossies, but the rest of the first half of the year wasn't nearly as sunny.
Magazines saw a 4.8 percent drop in ad pages, with a total of 31,137 pages for the January to March period, according to the Association of Magazine Media (via WWD). Media Industry Newsletter (MIN) reported smaller declines (0.12 percent in the first quarter and 0.86 percent in the second quarter), but regardless of the exact drop, ad page numbers were indisputably soft for the first half of 2013.
Though it's not exactly as grim as it sounds: Part of the reason growth is slow is that the numbers were up--way up--for the period last year. Allure, Marie Claire and W, which killed it last year, saw only marginal growth this year: Allure was up 1 percent over last year, Marie Claire was up 3 percent, and W, up 9 percent. Those are decent gains, but in comparison to last year's performance they aren't much to celebrate. If magazines have succeeded in recovering their ad pages over the last five years, then sustaining that growth might be the challenge of the next five.
For other magazines, growth was relative. Lucky is down 6 percent--but that's actually good news, considering it saw a 17 percent drop recently. Cosmopolitan, which saw a 2 percent drop during the same period last year, has recovered, posting a 6 percent increase. Glamour, however, did not: The magazine also posted a 2 percent decline last year; this year, it's down 4 percent.
InStyle had the most ad pages out of all the magazines, followed by Vogue and then Elle--all three of which saw moderate gains this half. InStyle is up nearly 4 percent; Vogue is up a little more than 4 percent, and Elle is up 5 percent.
Some magazines saw impressive gains. Harper’s Bazaar, which saw a 12 percent increase in the same period last year, grew another 19 percent this year. WSJ was up 30 percent, while T grew 13 percent--spurred in part by competition with each other.
Read on to see how each magazine ranks.
1. InStyle, 1,261 ad pages 2. Vogue, 1,181 ad pages 3. Elle, 1,157 ad pages 4. Bazaar, 900 ad pages 5. Marie Claire, 756 ad pages 6. Cosmo, 696 ad pages 7. Allure, 690 ad pages 8. Glamour, 671 ad pages 9. Vanity Fair, 647 ad pages 10. W, 549 ad pages 11. GQ, 531 ad pages 12. T, 486 ad pages 13. O, The Oprah Magazine, 479 ad pages 14. Food Network, 472 15. Esquire, 439 16. Lucky, 382 17. Details, 350 18. Bon Appetit, 347 19. WSJ, 252