Periodical Publishers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 4,200 periodical publishers in the US produce and distribute magazines and other periodicals in print or electronic form. General interest publications focus on a broad topic, such as arts, culture, leisure, entertainment, politics, business, or news. Other types of periodicals cater to a specific market and include trade publications, such as scholarly, medical, or scientific journals.

Competition From Alternative Media

Periodical publishers compete with a variety of alternative forms of media, including television, radio, newspapers, books, and digital media.

Variable Costs

Periodical publishers are exposed to risks associated with the cost of paper and postage.

Industry size & Structure

The average periodical publisher operates out of a single location, employs about 16 workers, and generates about $6 million annually.

    • The periodical publishing industry consists of about 4,200 companies that employ about 68,300 workers and generate $26 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top 50 companies account for 62% of industry revenue.
    • Large publishing houses include RELX Group, International Data Group, and Meredith Corporation. Large firms typically hold portfolios with multiple titles and may also operate in related categories, such as broadcast (TV) media and book publishing.
    • Small companies include city and regional magazines and highly targeted trade publications. Many markets can only support one subscription-based lifestyle publication, according to Folio Magazine.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Periodical Publishers Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Dec 2, 2022 - Industry Jobs In Key Publishing Hub Have Decreased
                                • The number of people employed in New York publishing houses dipped by 1.7% between 2010 and 2020, according to the "2022 Publishing Industry Economic Impact Study." New York, a major publishing industry hub, is considered by some experts to be a bellwether for the entire publishing industry. The book publishing job market fared much better than the periodical publishing sector, where the number of jobs decreased 45% between 2010 and 2020, falling to 13,700, and newspaper publishers, where employment fell 20%, to 7,100. The report noted, however that consolidation among large publishers likely caused, but that was countered by a growing independent press segment.
                                • Hearst, the 135-year-old magazine publisher, has launched a social commerce business with a site aimed at young shoppers. The company hopes that Firstfinds, a site intended to aggregate products popular on social media, will help it join other companies that have found success combining social media and shopping, including Pinterest, Poshmark, and Etsy. Many publishers have lost readers and advertisers to the internet, but Hearst has been able to stay afloat by diversifying its portfolio with investments in data and software, as well as stakes in TV networks, company CEO Steve Swartz said.
                                • Periodical publishers are relying more heavily on the US Postal Service for delivery due to driver shortages and decreasing subscriptions which, in some areas, has led to situations where subscribers are too few and far between for traditional delivery to make sense. The number of newspapers sent to subscribers or sold at newsstands has dropped by about a third in two and a half years, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. The consistency of delivery by mail has helped ease customer complaints about not getting their papers on time, according to industry veterans. Some local publishers are realizing significant cost savings when they switch to mail delivery, more than offsetting minor losses of subscribers who don’t want mail delivery.
                                • Magna, a unit of Interpublic Group of Companies' Mediabrands, cut its forecast for nonpolitical ad spending for the second half of this year and its total advertising spending growth forecast for 2023. Company analysts say that a weaker economic environment is likely to cut into consumer spending. Items like food, drinks, personal care, and household goods ‘are especially at risk as firms are forced to increase product prices and face the possibility of consumers trading down in favor of cheaper brands.’ Advertising expenditures will decrease as a result. Ad spending growth for all of 2022 will come in at 9.8%, Magna said, less than the 11.1% forecast in June. The growth forecast for 2023 was cut to 4.8% from the June prediction of 5.8% growth.
                                Get A Demo

                                Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                                See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                                Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                                check out Vertical IQ today.

                                Request A Demo