Surprise in Tough Year: Gay Press Still Outperforms Overall Media, Annual Ad Spending Survey Reveals.

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The numbers are in for 2009: latest Gay Press Report reveals ad spending in gay press at record $349.6 million.,

Advertisers are finding the market to be a solid investment, and many publications in the gay press have increased ad revenue despite a very difficult media market.

In a sign of strength at a tumultuous time in the media business, an annual study released today reveals that advertising spending in the gay press in 2009 was at a record high.

According to the 2009 Gay Press Report released today by advertising agency Prime Access and gay media representative firm Rivendell Media, spending in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) publications was up 13.6%, earning a record $349.6 million in advertising revenues. By comparison, consumer magazine revenues saw a loss of 15.6% over the same time period, reaching its lowest point since 1998.

While the study reveals that the number of ads in the LGBT press decreased by 6.8% compared to 2008, it found that advertising revenue itself increased tracing to the placement of larger ads overall.

"The findings in the report confirm the strength and value of gay media," said Prime Access founder and CEO Howard Buford. "Advertisers are finding the market to be a solid investment, and many publications in the gay press have increased ad revenue despite a very difficult media market."

"The numbers do not lie, and even I was surprised at how gay media held its own in such a tough market," noted Todd Evans, president and CEO of Rivendell Media. "Gay media sales have always doubled in past recessions as companies focus their media on their best customers. While we didn't see that kind of increase this year, the numbers are still significant."

The study also noted a dramatic increase in advertising created specifically for gay consumers. In gay publications overall, the percentage of gay-specific ads (ads that directly portray gay and lesbian consumers and their lives through artwork and/or messages) has now reached an all time high of 61.9%, up from only 9.9% in 2002. And in national gay publications, gay-specific ads are clearly the rule, comprising almost nine-tenths of all ads.

"We continue to find that gay-specific advertising is by far the most effective with this audience, producing the biggest return on investment." added Buford.

The Gay Press Report has been produced annually since 1994 to provide a unique, historical perspective on the gay and lesbian market. Since 1999, Prime Access and Rivendell Media have published the report. To view the 2009 report in its entirety, please visit:, or

Among the other findings in the 2009 Gay Press Report:

  • LGBT advertising revenues have grown a robust 377% since 1996, demonstrating that ad revenues in the gay and lesbian press grew more than ten times faster than that of consumer magazines.
  • In 2009, the gay and lesbian press consisted of 251 issues (27 fewer than in 2008), representing 136 individual titles; an increase of six titles since 2008.
  • Because of fewer issues, however, the combined circulation of all LGBT publications is now 2,387,750, down a significant 27.6% since 2008.

About Rivendell Media
Rivendell Media ( is the leading gay media representative firm in the United States. Rivendell represents over 200 LGBT publications, websites and digital properties in the US and Canada.

About Prime Access
Prime Access ( is a multicultural advertising agency that offers a unique URBAN MAJORITY ® approach to advertising, marketing and media services. Prime Access specializes in linking clients' brands to the values of Gay/Lesbian, African American and Hispanic consumers through a sophisticated mix of traditional and digital media. Its clients include some of America's best-known Fortune 500® companies and brands.


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Patrick Kowalczyk
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