New Magazine Audience Research

Mediamark Research Inc. today released a study that details the speed, or timeliness, with which magazines reach their target audience. These new data provide the first empirical measurement of consumer reading habits over time since the 1970's, and is the first such study ever conducted nationally.

Most of the country's top advertising agencies and magazine publishers have contracted for the new research - gleaned from consumer diaries - that shows, for advertising purposes, how quickly magazines accumulate their total audience.

More than 10,000 respondents recorded their daily magazine reading behavior in written diaries provided by MRI as part of the new methodology.

The new information is being presented to MRI clients in the form of audience accumulation, or velocity, curves for individual magazines and groups of magazines. Advertisers and their agencies will use the curves to establish the timing of the delivery of print advertising, and to more tightly integrate magazine advertising into media strategies.

"Without these new magazine data, magazine publishers are at a disadvantage to TV and other media when advertisers and agencies use so-called optimization programs to create media plans," said Alain J. Tessier, Chairman and CEO of MRI. "There have been many assumptions, some of them dead wrong, about how quickly people read certain magazines once the publications go on-sale. Now, with empirical data, advertisers and agencies can more clearly assess the contribution of print advertising within the entire marketing mix."

The new data will help publishers exploit two unique properties of magazines that other media do not provide: delivery of an advertising message over time, and repeat exposure to an ad over time. These features can now be measured using MRI's audience accumulation data.

Approximately 24 ad agencies and publishers have contracted for the new research, including BBDO, Conde Nast, MediaCom, Meredith Corp., National Geographic, Parade, Reader's Digest, USA Weekend and J. Walter Thompson.

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