NUMBERS, NUMBERS: March is the second-most important month behind September for fashion magazines in terms of print advertising revenue — and this year was no exception.
Although magazine publishers no longer report ad page numbers following the launch of The Association of Magazine Media’s Media 360 index, WWD counted ad pages for the March newsstand issues of the leading fashion magazines.
It should be noted that ad page totals fluctuate based on regional and subscriber copies that sometimes polybag ad booklets, which has altered the numbers reported in the past. Before the Media 360 index, publishers typically reported the highest ad-page count, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the ad-page total at the newsstand. That said, it is believed that Vogue is up in March from last year.
But back to the count. Elle came in third place with 315 ad pages. To show the differentiation between New York newsstand copies and subscriber copies, Elle subscribers got five more pages of ads in the form of a bind-in car-buying guide, bringing its total to 320 pages.
Coming in fourth was Time Inc.’s InStyle with 263 ad pages, followed by W with 209 pages. Meanwhile, Hearst’s Marie Claire logged 145 ad pages. Glamour, with its Gwyneth Paltrow cover, earned the seventh spot with 122 pages. For Glamour, sources put the number closer to 125.4 pages and for InStyle 270.
InStyle’s numbers were surprising given that in past years it often was neck-and-neck with Vogue in terms of ad pages.
WWD reached out to spokesmen for each title with the numbers and they declined to comment, apart from a company spokeswoman from Hearst.
Although it was made clear that digital copies were not used in WWD’s page count, she offered: “Manual counting, especially of digital copies, will not be accurate and will underestimate actual advertising pages.”
Ad page tallies were not available for comparison to March 2015; however, magazines did still report their ad page numbers in 2014. While those numbers do not reflect an apples-to-apples comparison with this year’s tally, they do provide some insight into the race for pages among the top fashion titles. It should also be noted that each publisher sells ads for different prices. Condé Nast typically charges a higher premium than its competitors, Time Inc. and Hearst.