For Magazines and Ad Pages, Up is the New Up

The conventional wisdom going into this year was that there was no way magazines could fare worse after last year’s disaster in the ad market, and it has proven (thus far) to be right. The Publishers Information Bureau reports today that there are gains once again the in the ad market.

“PIB recorded 43,427.11 ad pages in the second quarter, a gain of 0.8% compared to April through June, of 2009.  The fourth quarter of 2007 marked the last time that magazine advertising revenue or pages recorded growth,” said a press release.

So, finally, after enduring a couple of years of listening to publishers urge that “being flat is the new up” (or, last year, “a loss in the single digits is the new up”) the magazine world seems to be stabilizing, however slightly.

Here is a sampling of some magazines and their 2Q gains this year versus 2Q last year:

The Atlantic: + 35 percent

Bloomberg Business Week: + 10 percent

Cosmopolitan: +22.1 percent

Details: -4.8 percent

Elle: + 6.3 percent

Entertainment Weekly: + 18.5 percent

Esquire: +25.5 percent

Glamour: + 4.2 percent

GQ: + 21.5 percent

Harper’s Bazaar: +33.7 percent

Lucky: – 7.3 percent

The New Yorker: + 5.4 percent

Reader’s Digest: – 8.1 percent

Rolling Stone: + 12.6 percent

Vogue: + 20.1 percent

Vanity Fair: + 30.3 percent

Here is a list of how all magazines performed in the second quarter this year, and here is how different advertising sectors (big gains for financial and automotive, biggest loss for hotels) performed.