How much money does the gossip magazine / gossip blog / tabloid industry make?
December 11, 2009 12:23 PM   Subscribe

So, celebrity gossip is everywhere and lots of $$$ is forked out for images of famous babies, etcetera... BUT how much money does the gossip industry MAKE?

I can't find any online statistics about Gossip Industry Revenues. It's actually very odd and mysterious.

I'm looking for numbers on gossip magazines, gossip blogs and/or the tabloid industry, with the goal of comparing the Gossip numbers to the Porn Industry and the Television Industry respectively. I could use global numbers, US or North American numbers.

It would be useful to find a webpage as comprehensive as this:

...but I would take a single, high impact sentence about the tabloids and gossip rags (such as this gem: "US Porn Revenues are greater than the combined revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC"), which was properly cited and verifiable.

Anyone got anything?
posted by Elle Vator to Media & Arts (5 answers total)

Nothing industry industry wide, but TMZ's revenues for 2008 was $25.4 million. [via]
posted by jaimev at 12:53 PM on December 11, 2009

Porn, to paraphrase the famous definition, is something you know when you see. It's also a pretty "exclusive" product - you don't see it in most newspapers, magazines and television networks. That makes it easy to quantify.

The "gossip industry" - what is it? It's much harder to define and to separate from other media forms. There are obvious outlets for it (like TMZ), but there are a lot of entertainment industry outlets that could or could not be considered "gossip industry." The Jay Leno Show, for instance, will feature bits on Tiger Woods' marital indiscretions and whatnot, but that's not the sole focus of the show. So how does it enter calculations?

In short, you're making the false assumption that this genre is defined well enough for their to be a separate accounting. I doubt there is, and even if there were, the figures would be privy to a fairly subjective definition of what "gossip industry" actually means.

Obviously, it's profitable. One can see that from the proliferation of magazines, shows and whatnot. And it's very low-cost, which would imply that profit would be relatively high.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 12:57 PM on December 11, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks to both of you. That TMZ number might be enough. Hmmm...

Truthfully, I'd love a blanket statistic for the whole shebang, biggest number possible.

I consider the "gossip industry" and the "porn industry" to be somewhat analogous (gossip as emotion porn?), similarly amorphous and sometimes overlapping (case in point, TMZ and NSFW pics everywhere), but I would say that "gossip" is a defined subgenre of news/blogs/factual TV, as some things are nothing but gossip. I'm picturing:

- print media (all the glossy rags... mags devoted 100% to celebrity gossip)
- websites (Perez, TMZ, Superficial, etc... sites/blogs devoted 100% to celebrity gossip)
- magazine shows (ET, Etalk, etc... news shows devoted 100% to celebrity gossip)


It's somewhat unimportant how I define what I am looking for, as I will use the parameters of whatever I find to do that for me.

I need numbers that express "this is a world where sex and gossip sells." Any resources you can point me to to gather numbers on the above would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Elle Vator at 2:41 PM on December 11, 2009

Response by poster: And believe me: I feel lame and slightly dirty to be asking. :)
posted by Elle Vator at 2:51 PM on December 11, 2009

It might be a bit of a longshot but...

My Girlfriend bought an US Weekly yesterday. Quintessential glossy mag with Woods' face plastered over the cover. It was about $4. The magazines range from 3 and change to 5 bucks. So I'd say 4 is a good average. According to wikipedia, US Weekly averages about 1,850,000 sold nationwide per week. Multiply that by the cover price I mentioned, and you get $7,400,000 weekly. Granted, that's not revenue but total intake.

Never mind the above, good old fashioned research can get you far.

Us ended 2008 with 1,791 ad pages and reported ad revenues of $308.3 million.

As of 2006 "People has a circulation of 3.73 million and its revenue is expected to top $1.5 billion this year."
posted by saxamo at 1:07 PM on December 13, 2009

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