Magazine Publishers Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Magazine Publishers Industry Profile

Companies in this industry gather, write, and edit articles as well as sell and prepare advertisements to produce and distribute print or electronic magazines and periodicals. Major companies include Condé Nast, Dotdash Meredith, and Hearst (all based in the US), along with Arnoldo Mondadori Editore (Italy), Bauer Media Group and Gruner + Jahr (both based in Germany), and Sanoma (Finland).

The global magazine market, including consumer and trade magazines, is forecast to drop by nearly 5% between 2019 and 2024, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. As publishers struggle with subscription and advertising revenue growth, many are focused on diversification, adding offerings such as events, custom content, brand licensing, e-commerce, and affiliate marketing.

The US magazine publishing industry includes about 5,300 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $27 billion.


Demand for magazines is driven largely by growth in consumer income. The profitability of individual companies depends highly on marketing expertise. Small companies can compete by specializing in niche topics and markets, while larger companies benefit from a wide selection of magazine titles to offer advertisers. Large companies also have economies of scale in production and distribution. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 60% of revenue.

Magazines compete with a variety of print, online, and broadcast media for consumer attention and advertising dollars. Significant competition is coming from digital media and entertainment that ...

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