Majority Of Readers Access Digital Magazine Content, Ads

Ipad-AdOver half of American magazine readers are accessing magazine content and advertising through digital channels, according to Affinity’s most recent American magazine study. Out of 187 million American adults who interacted with magazine content and ads in the period covered by the AMS, 54% did so via the Web or mobile platforms, including smartphones, eReaders, tablets and other mobile devices.

However, 95% of the total magazine audience still consumes magazine content and advertising in print form, according to Affinity, and almost half of the audience overlapped, with 48% consuming via both print and digital channels. Of the 172 magazine brands tracked by AMS, the average number of different magazines read (across print and digital channels) was 8.2 per month.

While print still boasts impressive reach, digital consumption represents the fastest-growing segment of the total audience, Affinity found. In comparison with the previous year, the number of digital users visiting magazine-branded social networks increased 5.7% to 30 million, and the number accessing magazine content via mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, grew 6.2% to 35 million.

As might be expected, consumers who access magazine content via digital channels tend to skew younger, better educated and more affluent. The average age of digital readers was 41, compared to 47 for print, while 36% of digital readers were college graduates, versus 31% for print. The median household income for digital readers was $69,938, according to Affinity, compared to $63,624 for print.

The Affinity AMS figures come close on the heels of a survey by GfK MRI, which found that just over one out of every 10 magazine impressions takes place solely via digital channels. In the measurement period from March-October 2011, the total gross magazine audience -- defined by GfK MRI as the number of consumer exposures to magazine-branded content on any platform, including magazines printed on paper -- was approximately 1.58 billion.

Within that figure, 1.278 billion exposures were print-only, involving no digital component; 135 million involved both print and digital components; and 166 million, or 11% of the total, involved only digital components.

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