Language: EN
Type: Newspaper Story
Publication: The Miami Herald
Location: Section: Business Edition: Final Page: 1C
Author: CHRISTINA HOAG, choag@herald.com
Date: February 22, 2003
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2003 The Miami Herald


The Miami Herald
February 22, 2003
Section: Business
Edition: Final
Page: 1C
Memo:See microfilm for advertising/magazine figures

CHRISTINA HOAG, choag@herald.com

In an increasingly crowded Hispanic magazine market, People en español, with an estimated $24.4 million, was by far the leader in 2002 advertising revenue, according to a study released this week by HispanicMagazineMonitor of Miami.

People en español (circulation 400,000) alone captured almost a quarter of the $98 million Hispanic magazine-advertising market, said Carlos Pelay, president of Media Economics Group, which owns HispanicMagazineMonitor.com.
A longtime leader in Spanish-language publications, People en español has plenty of competition these days. As with Hispanic radio and television, the Hispanic magazine sector is becoming increasingly competitive, as more players seek entry into the United States' hottest growth demographic.

Last year saw the launch of eight titles, ranging from Travel & Leisure en español and Hispanic Trends to Futbol Mundial and Maxim en español. This was ``a remarkable number, given the weak state of the economy and the advertising market,'' Pelay said.

The Latin American economic slump has also had a role in spurring the U.S. market. Such publishers as Mexico's Editorial Televisa, Zoom Media Group of Miami Beach and Miami's Ideas Publishing Group are focusing on developing markets north of the border, instead of south.

``Magazines are still a small part of the media mix,'' Pelay said, ``but they're getting a lot of attention.''

According to his study, which does not take into account discounts or other deals that magazines may offer as incentives to individual advertisers, the second-biggest ad earner, with an estimated $11.9 million, was Latina (circulation 250,000), followed by Vanidades (circulation 110,000), with an estimated $7.8 million.

While People en español and Latina sold a similar number of pages - 705 and 703, respectively - People's $35,000 open-page rate is almost double that of Latina's $17,325, the study noted.

Fourth-place Reader's Digest Selecciones (circulation 325,000) posted an impressive 40 percent growth in ad revenue, up to an estimated $7.5 million from $5.4 million in 2001, Pelay said.

The top 10 advertisers in Hispanic magazines were all big consumer companies, with Procter & Gamble, at $8.4 million, leading the pack, followed by Ford, at $4.7 million, and L'Oréal USA, at $3.3 million.

And those in the industry do not expect the growth trend to slow anytime soon.

A key factor with so many new titles, industry insiders believe, is developing the right content to build reader loyalty and circulation, which would in turn lure advertisers.

``Readers will get pickier,'' said Isaac Lee, president of three-year-old Zoom, which publishes Poder, a business title in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and Loft, a Spanish-language men's lifestyle title.

``The market is growing a lot,'' Lee said, ``but eventually it will be a question of survival of the fittest.''

Lee recently took Loft from bimonthly editions to monthly, and he hopes to nearly double the distribution of English-language Poder from 38,000, mostly in Miami, to 70,000 by increasing distribution in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York in April.

Carlos M. Modia, president of Ideas Publishing Group, which publishes seven Spanish-language titles of such popular U.S. magazines as Glamour, Newsweek and Vogue, said his company was concentrating on developing more original content in Spanish for the magazines as well as promotional events.

``This year, we're building what we have,'' Modia said. ``Our general sales are at a much higher pace than last year. Still, it was easier three years ago.''

Illustration:color photo: Hispanic magazine covers (a)

Copyright (c) 2003 The Miami Herald