Ad revenue up for magazines in 2009

Revenue from advertising rose by more than $5 million despite a drop in subscription and newsstand sales according to Masthead magazine's annual roundup. Chatelaine remains top of the list.

Revenues from magazine subscription and newsstand sales were down in 2009 by $10 and $2 million, respectively, according to Masthead Online magazine’s annual report called The Top 50.

But advertisers increased their overall spend on magazines, according to figures supplied by the Nielsen Leading National Advertisers to the industry trade publication, with revenues from ad sales actually increasing year-over-year by more than $5 million.

Despite a 9% drop in profits in 2009, Canada’s biggest earner is still women’s magazine Chatelaine, which had a total revenue of $51.4 million and ad revenues of $46.3 million. Canadian Living is the second-most profitable magazine in Canada, increasing its revenues by more than 15% this year and earning $49.7 million in total. Reader’s Digest, which made $48 million, was also up by 22%.

Reader’s Digest-owned Best Health magazine had the biggest increase in overall revenue (102.8%), as did its Sélection du Reader’s Digest (42.3%), which VP and publisher Larry Thomas in the Masthead report directly credits to an increase in frequency with which brands advertised in the titles, new categories of brands that placed executions in print, and a growth in online ad sale integrations.

Other titles that are most improved include Homemakers (up by 39%) and Hello! Canada (26.5%).

The biggest percentage drop in revenue was seen in Financial Post Magazine (32%), Report on Business (21.4%) and Movie Entertainment (16.7%). Subscription and newsstand revenues were calculated by Masthead using data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations and Canadian Circulations Audit Bureau