Friday, August 26, 2005


B2B Ad Pages Not Keeping Up With the Economy

There's nothing like a measure of things that is crisp and clear, and can't be affected by inflation. American Business Media's ad page count is one of them. The report for June can be found at

Pages are up +1.79%, which means that ad pages are growing at a rate of about half that of the economy. It's important to note that pages are one thing, but run length of those pages is something else. Those data don't really exist and have to be compiled based on circulation data, which are not always current.

A way to get at things quickly for magazines overall is to look at the postal reports. The third quarter for fiscal 2005 of the postal service data are available at Year-to-date data start on page 4 of the PDF.

First class pieces are up +0.4% compared to the prior year, but their weight is up +1.5%
Periodicals pieces are up +0.1%, but the weight is at 0%, or no change for those who can't handle the concept of nothingness. This implies that circulation is declining: pieces up, weight stays the same, means more different things, perhaps more pages, but not as many being sent.

The weight of automation presort cards is up by +22%, and pieces is up by +8.4%. Again, the shift to direct mail to drive information access and e-commerce over websites is becoming much more common.

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