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Black magazines’ ad pages rose for February; retail and automotive spending increased

March 22, 2007 by  
Filed under Money/Business (March 16, 2007) The latest statistics released by Media Economics Group indicate that the 30 leading African-American magazines collectively experienced an increase in both ad pages and revenues for the month of February. Estimated total ad revenues were $38.5 million on 952.34 ad pages. Compared to February of 2006, ad pages for major black titles were up slightly by eight tenths of one percent and ad dollars rose by 10.9 percent.

The categories showing the greatest year-to-year improvement for February spending in black magazines were Retailers (+44.9%), Automotive (+40.9%) and Health Care Products (+28.8%).

Among those titles showing gains on a year-over-year basis were Heart & Soul (+92.6%), Essence (+20.3%), Vibe (+20.%), The Green (+17.1%), Jet (+7.0%), Sophisticate’s Black Hair (+8.2%), and Ebony (+3.9%).

The estimated number of ad pages were down at Black Enterprise (-24.5%), Today’s Black Woman (-21.3%), Upscale(-19.1%), and American Legacy (-17.3%).

Vibe Vixen has increased its frequency in 2007 from quarterly to bi-monthly so direct comparisons with last year are not possible.  Vibe Vixen’s first bi-monthly issue (February/March ) contained 44.3 ad pages with a rate card value of $2.1million.

Year-to-date estimated ad dollars for the 30 African-American magazines tracked by Media Economics Group totaled $62.5 million on 1,646.64 ad pages.  

Overall, comparable ad pages for the major black titles are up by 4.2% thus far in 2007, compared to previous year.  Estimated ad dollars at the monitored magazines have risen by 10.4% for the January to February period.

Spending in the key automotive category – the largest single category in African American magazines – was weak throughout 2006 and decreased by 18.2% for the year as a whole.  The rebound in auto spending so far this year bodes well for the black magazine publishers.

The top five auto brands advertised in African-American magazines year-to-date include:  Ford Edge ($1,042,093 and 7.0% share of all auto spending in black magazines),  Dodge Nitro ($991,519; 6.7% share), Infiniti G ($801,836; 5.4% share), Chrysler Aspen ($772,837; 5.2% share), and Toyota Avalon ($652,273; 4.4% share).

Categories showing year-over-year declines in ad revenue through February include: Personal Care Products (-10.1%), Financial Services & Insurance (-13.7%), Government (-36.5%), and Travel (-6.9%).

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