US Competitive Info: Magazines Tumble, Debate Ads Rumble. Magazine newsstand sales continued their steady decline in the first half of 2015, according to new figures from MagNet, reported by MediaPost. Total volume of magazines distributed to wholesalers dropped 2.6% to 784 million units comparted to the first half of 2014. But the number of issues sold had a steeper decline, tumbling 18.5% to 207.5 million. Dollar value of magazine sales decreased 13.9% to $1.11 billion. One caveat noted by MagNet is the new numbers may not be an apples-to-apples comparison due to the closing of magazine distributor Source Interlink and the lack of figures from Barnes & Noble. Still, no turnaround is in sight for magazine newsstand sales. MagNet says preliminary data for July and August point to sales falling further in the second half. Meanwhile, the chord that Donald Trump has struck among voters is reverberating for CNN ad sales. The cable news network is asking for 40 times its normal rate for a 30-second spot during the next Republican debate. CNN is charging up to $200,000 for a :30 during the top-tier debate, compared to the $5,000 it typically charges for a primetime spot. Ad Age says that puts the debate ad rates on par with those charged by broadcast primetime series. Even the debate among lower ranking candidates will fetch $50,000-$60,000 per spot, according to Ad Age. The audience delivered by the first Republican presidential debate has primed the pump for CNN. The August 6 debate drew 24 million viewers to Fox News, making it the most-watched nonsports event in cable TV history.
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