Mag Bag: GfK MRI Sees E-Reader Boom

by , Jun 17, 2010, 11:24 AM
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GfK MRI Sees E-Reader Boom

The e-reader revolution is gaining ground, according to the latest findings from GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, aided by the surge of interest in Apple's new iPad. These findings document the rapid expansion of the e-reader base. They are good news for magazine and newspaper publishers hoping to cash in on the wave of new devices with digital editions.

Overall, the total number of e-reader owners increased 34% in the first half of 2010, jumping from just under 2.1 million to 2.8 million, the annual GfK MRI survey found. What's more, consumers who own e-readers have a very attractive demographic profile: They are 111% more likely than the average U.S. adult to have a household income of $100,000 or more and 159% more likely to have a post-graduate degree. They are also 28% more likely to be between the ages of 35 and 44.

As might be expected, they also show a much greater propensity for using social network sites, especially those with professional relevance. The GfK MRI survey found that e-reader owners are 64% more likely than the average U.S. adult to be a member of Facebook, 269% more likely to use Twitter, and a whopping 375% more likely to be a member of LinkedIn.

The GfK MRI data comes amid a number of other positive findings about e-reader owners and sales. According to a presentation to the Magazine Publishers of America technology conference by Martin Kon, head of global media and entertainment for Oliver Wyman, e-reader owners are receptive to the idea of paying for subscriptions to digital editions of magazines. Wyman predicts that 40 million color tablets will be in use by 2014 -- a huge increase from GfK MRI's present figure of 2.8 million.

The good news extends to newspapers -- or at least to certain leading publications. During the first month of iPad sales, iPad owners downloaded the Financial Times app 150,000 times, while The New York Times sold 300,000 digital subscriptions to iPad owners in the same period.

Florio No Longer In Vogue

Tom Florio, who has served as publisher of Vogue for almost a decade, is stepping down from his position and leaving Conde Nast at the end of June. He is credited with helping bring the venerable fashion title into the digital age with a number of online initiatives, including Vogue.TV, a Web TV and shopping network, and Model.Live, an online reality TV show.

As the business boss for Conde Nast's flagship fashion publication, Florio received his own share of publicity: Vogue was the subject of "The September Issue," a documentary about the making of the September 2007 issue -- the magazine's biggest ever. He told The Wall Street Journal that he wants to "be CEO of my own company," but revealed no further plans.

Fairchild Preps New Men's Fashion Mag

Fairchild, the trade magazine publishing division of Conde Nast, is set to begin publishing its new men's fashion magazine MensWear on June 21, according to the New York Post. The new title has been described as a hybrid, straddling the trade and consumer magazine categories; it will be led by Ed Nardoza, who already serves as editor in chief of Women's Wear Daily -- who will continue in this role.

Earlier this week, Parade Publications -- a Conde cousin, also owned by the Newhouse family -- unveiled plans for a new newspaper-distributed food magazine, Dash, which will incorporate content from a handful of Conde Nast's food-related brands.

Next Issue Names Guenther CEO

Next Issue Media, a consortium created by leading magazine publishers to prepare and expand the consumer market for digital editions of magazines, has named Morgan Guenther -- who previously served as the chairman and CEO of AirPlay, and before that as president of TiVo -- as its CEO.

Next Issue was formed by Time Inc., Hearst, Meredith Corp., and Conde Nast, which were later joined by News Corp. The last week has brought some horse-trading among the partners at Next Issue: News Corp. also announced its acquisition of Skiff, a company originally founded by Hearst to develop an e-reader device and software for digital editions.

Bloomberg Businessweek Hires Wiley

Hugh Wiley has been named publisher of Bloomberg Businessweek, replacing Jessica Sibley, who recently left for The Week. Wiley's appointment will be effective June 28. Formerly the publisher of Time Inc.'s Fortune magazine, he joins another former Time staffer, Josh Tyrangiel, who was appointed editor of Businessweek.

Wiley faces the formidable task of rebuilding ad sales at the venerable -- but lately beleaguered -- business publication, which Bloomberg LP purchased from McGraw Hill in October 2009. From a peak of 2,742 in 2006, Businessweek's ad pages declined 18.2% in 2007, 16.1% in 2008, and 33.8% in 2009, when they totaled just 1,247. On a quarterly basis, ad pages declined another 18.7% in the first three months of 2010.

Gaudoin Exits WSJ. Magazine

Tina Gaudoin, editor of WSJ. magazine, is moving to London and will be stepping down from her current role. Gaudoin will edit the September and October issues and assist in finding a successor. During her tenure, more than 80 advertisers have been brought into The Wall Street Journal through WSJ. 

 


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