Panregional / Business mags finally bounce back

After a few years of flat ad revenues, publishers say panregional business magazines are experiencing growth. Combined ad sales for the major titles, which have hovered at around $20 million per year, should see a significant increase over the next few years. Nils Strandberg, publisher and director of América Economía (biweekly, circ. 77,588, publisher's statement June 2003, Spanish and Portuguese editions, BPA audit planned), said the magazine experienced no growth last year, but he expects a year on year advertising growth rate of 10% this year. América Economía, which provides panregional content from a local perspective, reported 72% paid subscriptions as of November 2001.

Latin Trade (Latin America Media Management, LLC, monthly, circ. 90,970 BPA audited Dec. 2003, English, Spanish and Portuguese editions) is experiencing a year on year increase of about 15%, up 10% from 2003, according to publisher Michael Zellner. Latin Trade, which takes a more global perspective on the region, reported 85% paid subscriptions as of June 2004.

Grace Palacios, CEO of Charney-Palacios, the firm that represents Harvard Business Review America Latina (HBRAL) (monthly, circ. 55,000 IVM audited, Spanish and Portuguese editions) reports a 7% increase in ad revenues in the 3rd quarter of this year, compared to the same period of 2003. HBRAL reported 9,000 paid subscriptions and 4,000 POS as of December 2003.

PODER (Zoom Media Group, monthly, circ. 80,000 inc. Miami and U.S. Hispanic markets, publisher's statement, applied for ABC audit) reported 50% growth per year for the past two years. Editor David Yanovich points out that the majority of this growth has been in the U.S. Hispanic and Miami markets, but he also attributes it to a restructuring the magazine underwent two years ago. “We found that the panregional model works well for business, but not for content. PODER is still administered on a panregional level, but has separate editions with local content and advertising for each of our markets.”

Latin Finance (Euromoney Institutional Investor, PLC, monthly, circ. 31,940, BPA audit 2004, English), which covers movements of capital, competes more with global finance titles like Institutional Investor and Euromoney, than with the general business titles in the region. According to publisher Stuart Allen, revenues from advertising (magazine, supplements, off prints and sponsorships) grew 1% in 2002-2003, 2% in 2003-2004, and are expected to grow 20% in 2004-5. Latin Finance won new accounts from Pactual, Nomura, Fibra, Interfin, Produbanco, Algorithmics, Gol, BBVA Continental, and BCIE. “Despite the difficulties for everyone doing business in the past few years, Latin Finance has been profitable in every one of its 16 years,” Allen said.

Where will growth come from?

Which ad categories are driving the growth of panregional business mags? Strandberg of America Economia says high tech remains strong. He sees potential in the luxury market, including jewelry and real estate, and in multinational Latin American companies, which he calls “Multi-Latinas,” such as Telmex, Petrobras, and mining giant Vale do Rio Doce. Jen Ametrano, managing director of sales at Wall Street Journal Americas (Dow Jones, daily [Monday-Friday], circ. 1.7 million, publisher's statement, Spanish and Portuguese editions) also predicts growth in the financial ad category. Allen of Latin Finance agrees. “We have seen an increase in ad sales from financial institutions, most notably Wall Street, which doubled in 2002-2003, and in the Caribbean and Mexico.” Allen adds that investor relations advertising has increased and business schools in the region are beginning to advertise. Palacios and Yanovich both mentioned automobile and tourism (hotels and airlines) as strong panregional advertisers. But according to Allen of Latin Finance, travel - airlines and hotels – was depressed throughout the 2002-3 period.


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