The top 50 U.S. marketers spent slightly more than $6.1 billion on print magazine advertising last year, which represents a decline of more than $417 million from 2016’s $6.52 billion and about $450 million less than 2015’s $6.56 billion, according to analysis released by magazine industry trade group The Association of Magazine Media.
The MPA’s annual Factbook report, which measures magazine audiences and readership engagement habits, tallied 7,176 U.S. consumer print magazines in 2017, which represents a loss of more than 200 titles from 2008’s 7,383.
Despite this, 766 new magazines, special editions and “bookazines” still managed to debut last year — about 130 of them consumer magazines — and several key findings in MPA’s 2018/19 Factbook research suggest that while ad counts might be down, magazine media continues to be a more trusted and influential platform than competing media sources.
While trust in search engines and social media platforms has declined by about two percent in the last year, the report found that consumer trust in traditional and online media journalism has rebounded, up five percent since last year.
Surprisingly, the report also found that a higher percentage of U.S. adults ages 18–29 (95 percent) now read magazines than they use Facebook (81 percent). U.S. magazine reader audiences also remain diverse, tend to immerse themselves in magazines more deeply than other media, and adult audiences say ads featured in magazines also tended to engage them more than ads in competing formats. Magazines advertising campaigns particularly boost brand awareness when it comes to prescription drug brands and beauty products.
The report also revealed that magazine media brands remain incredibly influential when it comes to social media engagement compared to non-magazine media brands. Finally, magazines also tend to attract affluent audiences, as the Factbook report found that households earning annual incomes of more than $250,000 are particularly drawn to print magazines, with this medium reaching more affluent consumers than the Internet, newspapers, radio and TV and across more categories.