Argentina’s Publishers Look for Home Grown Solutions

From 1998 to 2004 magazines lost about half their total circulation with a corresponding increase in advertising revenues. The crisis had a severe impact on international titles in Argentina, which in 2001 had a dominant presence in the country. According to the Asociacion Argentina de Editores de Revistas (AAER) in 2001 there were 1118 international titles and 1007 domestic magazines. In 2002 the number of magahines both sectors had dropped to 398 and 692, respectively. By 2004 domestic titles had returned to 2004 numbers but international titles, 641, are well below their 2001 levels.

Argentina faces, as do most countries, strong competition from television and newspapers. With 39% of the total print advertising spending, newspapers are slightly ahead of television at 38%. Magazines have 6% of print share. Newspapers are especially strong competition because they are producing Sunday and weekly magazine supplements that are sent to a larger audience than most magazines reach.

According to Charles McCullough, Vice President/International at Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) in New York, “Argentine magazine publishers, including Editorial Perfil and Editorial Atlantida, have been forced to be ingenious, depending less on international associations and more on home grown solutions. In some respects there seems to be a frantic effort to fill in editorial categories to attract advertising dollars. Perfil has been aggressive in developing its international business, launching Look in Russia, Caras in Argentina, and Hombre and other titles in Chile. Editorial Atlantida is planning to launch a test issue of Alma, a high-end literary and culture magazine for U.S. Hispanics.