Magazines following the Dow downward graph trend

The Dow isn't the only thing shrinking as fast as your net worth; magazines have also been slimming down in recent months. Even Blender, which had always ran a song quote on its spine has given it up as it moves to fewer pages and a smaller binding. Blender isn't alone with the overall number of ad pages shrinking by 17% compared to the 4th quarter of 2007! Even with magazine content remaining constant, with ad pages drops this high it's no wonder the page counts are shrinking.



The steep decline in ad pages causing thinner issues aren't the only depressing statistics for dead paper news lovers. Media Daily News published a story in October 2008 where many magazine industry insiders say that they expect more closures in 2008 and 2009 citing several kids titles and business titles including Kiplinger and Smart Money as being at risk. All of these titles have seen decreased ad buys in the past year and are lower news stand sales.

The predictions for 2009 may likely come through as the economy catches up to many magazines that had locked in advertisers before the October stock market tumble thanks to the long lead time that has threatened their relevance in an increasingly instant digital world. Magazines are finding increased competition between their own print and digital content as traffic to consumer magazine sites rose 11% in 2008 over the previous year. Between free online content and tightening household budgets, those magazines that line the checkouts at your local grocery store may be the hardest hit as shoppers choose staples over star studded gossip.

So what do slimmed down magazines and closures on the horizon mean for you? If you're a subscriber it means you can get some great deals on a year's subscription, with some magazines even dipping to their 1939 subscription price in order to be more attractive to advertisers. If you find that your favorite magazine goes under while you still have a subscription, you'll likely find yourself stuck with a subscription to a similar magazine from the same publisher rather than a refund. Even with the threat of closures, subscriptions are still much cheaper than newsstand prices so take advantage of the down market and stock up on subscriptions.

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