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Periodical Publishing

Periodical Publishing

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Executive summary

Operators in the Magazine and Periodical Publishing industry produce regular editions of printed media, not including newspapers. Publishers can also distribute digitized versions of its product, but the industry excludes exclusively digital operators. Persistent declines in print advertising and product popularity have led to a steep drop in industry revenue over the five years to 2022. Advertisers and consumers alike have devoted more time, energy and dollars to online publications and digital channels, leading industry operators to bolster its online presence and shrink its print business. Moreover, in 2020, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic caused lower advertising expenditures by the industry's clients, causing a further negative shock to industry revenue. As a result, industry revenue is estimated to decline an annualized 0.2% to $30.2 billion over the five years to 2022, including a 9.5% spike in 2022 alone.
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industry major players;

industry key external drivers;

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industry Life Cycle;

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industry Key Success Factors;

industry Key statistics for previous years;

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Reference Wordlist

High barriers to entry mean that new companies struggle to enter an industry, while low barriers mean it is easy for new companies to enter an industry.

Compares the amount of money spent on capital (plant, machinery and equipment) with that spent on labor.
IBISWorld uses the ratio of depreciation to wages as a proxy for capital intensity. High capital intensity is more than $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; medium is $0.125 to $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; low is less than $0.125 of capital for every $1 of labor.

The dollar figures in the Key Statistics table, including forecasts, are adjusted for inflation using the current year (i.e. year published) as the base year. This removes the impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar, leaving only the "real" growth or decline in industry metrics. The inflation adjustments in IBISWorld’s reports are made using the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ implicit GDP price deflator.

Spending on industry goods and services within the United States, regardless of their country of origin. It is derived by adding imports to industry revenue, and then subtracting exports.

Colloquial Terminology

The number of copies sold per issue, or in the case of a free title, the number of copies distributed.

A magazine aimed at the general public that covers a broad range of topics.

The number of people who read a periodical, including pass-along readers.


Over the five years to 2022, operators cut costs by closing offices, discontinuing unprofitable titles and laying off employees. However, as revenue has steadily declined and then plummeted in 2020, some businesses were forced to exit the industry, either by closing entirely or moving to digital-only models. While affluent and loyal industry customers have helped to maintain subscription revenue, they have not managed to stop the decline in advertising spend that came with digital. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic hit corporate profit hard in 2020, reducing advertising spending further. This trend is not expected to change, with losses projected every year leading to 2027.

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