Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Concept Of “I” Magazine OK (In Theory At Least); Timing Not So Much

Philebrity touched on the debut of the Inquirer’s I Magazine last week, but yesterday the New York Times published a very timely article addressing the current challenges of such a venture.
High-end advertising was one of the few strong advertising categories earlier in the year. Luxury ad spending in categories measured by Nielsen Monitor-Plus actually rose 6.7 percent through August of this year over last year, even as almost all other areas slashed their spending.

Publishers did not miss that trend. In September, Dow Jones & Company introduced WSJ., a glossy magazine, to attract luxury advertisers, and The Washington Post introduced FW, a fashion magazine.

The New York Times Company has said its style magazines are big revenue sources for the company, and magazine publishers like Hearst, Condé Nast and Niche Media have also bet that high-end consumption and advertisements would continue.
So while Philadelphia Media Holdings (PMH) was a solid four years behind the debut of the Times’ “T” Style magazines, at least PMH recognized the trend at all and then acted on it.

Unfortunately, by the time “I” magazine debuted last week, luxury advertisers were not exactly bursting to be included:
[The recent drop-off in luxury advertising] means more bad news for magazines and newspapers in the United States that had grown increasingly dependent on luxury advertising.

Ad pages at the top luxury magazines fell 22 percent year over year for the December issues, according to Media Industry Newsletter. Vogue, for example, dropped from 284 pages last December, to 221 pages this December, while Food & Wine went from 160 pages to 126, according to the newsletter.
Ouch.

Related:
For Luxury Brands, Less Money to Spend on Ads [ New York Times ]
Confidential To The Inky: Don’t You Guys Know That Philly Style Is In The Shitter Too? [ Philebrity ]

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