Women readers reign in the US mainstream magazine market. Of the top 25 US magazines ranked by ad-pages in 2002, 9 are specifically targeted to women. Do they also reign in the Hispanic magazine market? Andrew Buchholtz, managing director at media investment bank Veronis, Suhler & Stevenson, says that women's magazines should be a great category within the Hispanic print media market, but unfortunately that isn't the case. “Other than Latina and some of the books from Televisa there are not really that many high circulation magazines out there.”
A mainstream women's title like Better Homes & Gardens has a circulation of 4 million. Since the Hispanic population makes up 14% of the overall US population, a successful Hispanic women's book could be expected to have a circulation of around 560,000 copies. According to Buchholtz, there are no Hispanic women's magazines with that circulation, and those that are close, like Latina, have not been successful in their attempts to get really high advertising revenues.
Are there enough advertising dollars out there for Hispanic women's mags? Print media advertising is only a small part of the Hispanic advertising sales volume. According to industry insiders, even well known titles, such as Latina, are not that profitable yet. They note that Latina magazine just broke even this year, after several years of being in the red.
However, the current Latino demographic explosion should have a positive impact on circulation and advertising sales for Hispanic women's magazines. Consumer goods companies such as Procter & Gamble, which already buys lots of ad space in Hispanic magazines, will probably increase their budgets. Maria Molina, director for Hispanic corporate affairs at Procter & Gamble, told Portadatm that many of P&G's brands target Latin women who are new to the US.
New advertisers like Pfizer, Radio Shack and some financial service companies, who have only entered the Hispanic market in the last few years, could be increasingly interested in advertising in women's magazines.
Hispanic women's magazine publishers still face significant challenges in trying to increase circulation and advertising sales for their publications.
1. Competition from mainstream women's mags
One of the reasons for the relatively low circulation of Hispanic women's mags might be related to the fact that women's magazines are purchased mainly by wealthier readers. Hispanic women with high purchasing power might be able to find what they want in existing women's magazines, making advertisers less interested in Hispanic women's titles.
Additionally, there are not that many mass-market Hispanic women's magazines being published as stand-alones, with content written specifically for Hispanics. Latina is one example of a stand-alone, Televisa's Vanidades is another. Many of the magazines oriented towards Hispanic women are published in franchise agreements – Ideas Publishing with Conde Nast titles like Glamour en español and Vogue en español, or Televisa with Buen Hogar (Hearst). Many of these publishers make big efforts to adapt their content to a Hispanic readership. However, critics claim that they still do not come across as stand-alone editorial products.
2. Limited cross-selling opportunities
A handicap many Hispanic women's magazines face, particularly those published by smaller independent publishers, is the lack of opportunities they provide to cross-advertise their brand in other media outlets. The latest example of cross-selling clout is Lifetime magazine, which was launched at the end of April. Lifetime magazine, is a 50/50 partnership between Hearst Magazines and Lifetime Entertainment Services, co-owned by Hearst Corporation and the Walt Disney Company. The new lifestyle magazine is based on the No.1 rated basic cable-TV network. Around 20% of Lifetime magazine's advertisers also buy time on Lifetime Television. Oprah magazine is another example of brand promotion (magazine, cable-TV, books, etc.) and advertising cross selling success.
Some Hispanic magazines have tried multimedia promotion. However, the process of combining media platforms who have different owners can be complicated. In July ABC's Good Morning America featured an in-studio fashion show hosted by the network's Diane Sawyer and Latina's editorial director, Betty Cortina. The segment drew on Latina's editorial mission of showcasing real women of different backgrounds in their fashion and beauty coverage.
3. Higher CPMs than the general market
Hispanic women's magazines have higher CPMs than mainstream US women's books. This is typical of a smaller market, where magazines can only be financially viable if they charge higher advertising rates. In other words, while dollars charged per volume (circulation) make big bucks for large US publishers, Hispanic oriented publishers try to make a profit by increasing the price of advertising (CPM). For example, Redbook magazine, published by Hearst, has a rate base of 2.4 million copies and a four color full page ad costs US $110,000 (CPM US $45.8). In comparison, Latina has a rate base of 300,000 (as of July 2003) and a four color full page ad costs US $19,500 (CPM US $65). The US Hispanic edition of Glamour en español has a CPM of US $105.7.