In a bit of good news for a traditional media format, a new report shows that U.S. adults, especially young adults, continue to read magazines in large numbers. At the same time, the number of magazine websites and mobile apps is expanding. These trends indicate that marketers will continue to use the magazine format as a way to connect with and inform consumers about new products and services.
Over 90% of consumers from all age groups read magazines. And research from MRI shows that the audience for this format has increased by 4.3% for consumers over age 18 in the past 5 years. On a monthly basis, consumers between the ages of 18–24 read about 7 magazines each month. Research also indicate that the magazine format has a big reach with ethnic groups such as Blacks (82% are magazine readers) and Hispanic/Latinos (75% read magazines and average 12.5 issues each month.) A similar report issued by Affinity indicates that women, at 84%, have a slighter higher readership than men, at 80%. In that study, the average U.S. adult indicated reading 6.1 magazine titles a month.
Magazine publishers are increasingly releasing titles both online and in print. The number of consumer magazine websites now stands at about 8,092. This is an important strategy as new readers may be solely interested in online copies. For example, in a poll of non-subscribers, 61% of consumers said if they did subscribe they would choose the digital only format. This preference aligns with the 60% of consumers who plan to invest in a table computer or e‑reader within the next 3 years. As a result, analysts predict that the interactive segment of this market could reach $3.1 billion by 2014. When subscription dues and advertising revenue are included, the industry recorded $9 billion in paid circulation revenue and over $19 billion in ad revenue last year.
For now, well over half of consumers say that magazine ads are positive and relevant and rank them only below newspaper ads when all advertising in various media formats is compared. And magazine readers are also turning to the Internet to look for products and services they see advertised in printed issues. The top two categories in which magazine readers indicate their openness to new products are electronics (only web users rank higher) and food (no other media format ranks higher).
Even as this industry continues to shift toward a digital format, statistics show that readers are interested in the content and advertising delivered by marketers. Businesses will likely continue to include magazine advertising as part of their media mix.[Sources: The Magazine Handbook 2010/2011. Magazine.org. 2010 Web. 17 Dec. 2010; Magazine Readership Remains Strong According to Affinity's American Magazine Study. Affinity.com. 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 17 Dec. 2010]