The death of magazines has been overplayed, according to a leading media agency, despite a torrid year that has featured the British title Glamour ending its monthly print run and Rolling Stone appealing for a deep-pocketed buyer.
There has been a precipitous slump in advertising in UK magazines this year with, an 11% fall representing the biggest since the advertising recession of 2009. In addition, in 2017 almost 1 million British consumers stopped buying print magazines or gave up their subscription.
Despite this gloomy picture, Group M, which buys more than $75bn (£60bn) of advertising space on behalf of clients globally, believes that the UK consumer magazine market has been “seriously undervalued” by marketers looking to cut back their budgets as a weakening economy has hurt their businesses.
“It is too early to call the death of magazines,” said Adam Smith, a director at WPP-owned Group M. “The decline in ad investment is disproportionate to the loss of magazine circulation. This is regrettable and probably not based on the evidence. The single biggest factor [in magazine ad decline] is probably the growth of Facebook. Google and Facebook both continue to grow strongly, and Facebook has been remarkable and is affecting every medium.”