Editorial calendar season reveals uptick in ad rates
Over the past couple of years, the inVocus team has been keeping an eye on changes across the media industry as magazines and other media outlets dismantle and reconstruct themselves in response to the recession, social media, tablet computers, and variety of other influences. This is the season when publications lay out their plans for the coming year and release editorial calendars. And with those calendars come new ad rates.
As a main source of revenue for publications, ad rates can serve as an interesting barometer for the health of a publication and industry. A rise in ad rates can signal renewed strength in the industry, or perhaps a need for stronger revenue. The crop of editorial calendars the Vocus Media Research Group has received for 2012 show some interesting trends when compared with prior years.
A sampling of construction and contracting publications like Green Home Builder and Commercial Building Products shows a change from their stabilized 2010 and 2011 ad rates. Over the past two years, a full page color ad in Commercial Building Products went for $6,810, but 2012 shows an increase to $7,015. Similarly, Green Home Builder charged $5,964 for a full page color ad in 2010 and 2011, but this year they’ve bundled it with a $9,500 sponsorship package.
More consumer-focused publications have also shown noteworthy trends in ad rate stability and increases. National Geographic Traveler’s full page color ad rate increased from $80,020 last year to $84,020 this year. Today’s Parent showed a smaller increase, from $35,856 in 2010 to $36,575 in 2011, and it will be interesting to see if it follows the same upward trend for 2012. “During the Great Recession years, publications were hesitant to raise their ad rates,” says Rebecca Bredholt, managing editor of magazine content at Vocus Media Research. “But now we’re seeing an increase that is small but necessary. Other costs are going up and print ad rates must as well.”
Meanwhile, these steadily stabilizing and rising ad rates across publication types could certainly be seen as a sign of good health for the industry. Over the course of 2011, inVocus has observed that the number of magazines folding or cutting jobs has continued to slow down from the staggering numbers of 2009 and 2010, while the number of new publications has risen. Either way, rising ad rates seems like a good way to kick off the new year.
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