U.S. Magazine Industry - Statistics & Facts

The estimated aggregate revenue of U.S. based periodical publishers has fallen sharply in the past decade from 46 billion U.S. dollars in 2007 to around 28 billion in 2017. The advent of the internet has changed the print publishing industry drastically. Consumers have become accustomed to the advantages offered by internet-based alternatives, making it increasingly difficult for print newspapers and magazines to keep their audiences. Although competition is becoming more and more fierce, the total number of magazine readers in the U.S. has actually seen a slight increase since 2012. The number of magazines in the U.S. has also stayed fairly constant over the years, varying from around 7,383 to 7,218 since 2008.

The success of a magazine can be measured in a variety of ways such as circulation, digital replica circulation, revenue by platform, revenue, and annual growth. Motorcyclist, an American magazine whose topic is best explained by its title, ranked as the fastest growing magazine brand in the U.S. in 2018. Men’s Journal, Saveur, and the home magazine, Town & Country, were also among the list of fast-growing magazine brands. ESPN The Magazine, a biweekly sports publication by the ESPN sports network, has the largest reach among all magazines in the United States. People Magazine has the second largest reach in the country, followed by WebMD. These leading magazines are also strengthening their presence on digital platforms. In fact, WebMD began as a website and added a print version later. ESPN The Magazine is the magazine with largest online audience in the U.S, followed by WebMD in second place.

Despite the industry’s struggles, magazines remain an important platform for many advertisers. Consumer magazine advertising spending will reach an estimated 15.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, placing it in a similar bracket to ad spending for the radio and newspaper industries. French cosmetics company L'Oréal was the leading print magazine advertiser in the U.S. in 2017. That year, L'Oréal alone spent around 700 million U.S. dollars on magazine ads. Proctor & Gamble Co. ranked second with over 560 million dollars in ad spending. That year also saw many other companies such as Pfizer, Kraft Heinz, and Louis Vuitton spend hundreds of millions promoting their brand in magazines. This is proof that the format has retained its appeal not just with consumers but with businesses willing to put their money behind it, and if this spending behavior continues, the magazine industry will likely remain stable for years to come.

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Magazine industry in the U.S.

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