Using data from Kantar Media, the industry trade group found that the 69 magazines it analyzed sold a total of 6% more ad space across both their tablet and print editions in 2013 than they did in 2012. So tablet ad sales are driving magazine growth, not print, basically.
MPA-The Association of Magazine Media president and CEO Mary G. Berner cheered the news with a defiant statement castigating the media's "lemming-like" coverage of the magazine industry's demise.
“I put lumps of coal in the stockings of all the nay-sayers who lost their faith in magazine media," Berner said. "These numbers prove, once again, that this business is about powerful, relevant and enduring brands. Despite erroneous, lemming-like coverage of declines, magazine media, has not, in fact, ever had an audience problem, and it is gratifying to see that advertisers are increasingly realizing that.”
In truth, the industry still has a ways to go. The Pew Research Center reported earlier this year that digital platforms made up just 6.6% of total magazine revenues in 2012. Pew expects this portion to rise to 14.5% in 2016, but it's unclear whether that will be enough to make up the print revenues the industry has lost over the years.
On the bright side for magazine publishers, the market for tablets is predicted to continuing growing in 2014, with IT research firm Gartner estimating that worldwide tablet shipments will jump 42.7% in the coming year.