Affluents Reading Fewer Magazines: Ipsos Mendelsohn

There's more troubling news for consumer magazines from Ipsos Mendelsohn's affluent survey, which found that well-heeled readers are reading less as they spend more time on the Internet. However, the June survey of 13,800 heads of households with incomes of at least $100,000 also offers some hope, with data showing steady growth in ownership of e-readers and tablet computers, touted by publishers as new platforms for circulation and advertising.


But the bad news took center stage, with a 16% decline from 2009-2010 both in the average number of magazines read per year (from 7.0 to 5.9, out of 139 titles covered in the survey) and the number of issues read per year (from 15.8 to 13.3). That compares with other media growing or at least holding steady over this period -- for example, TV viewing was basically flat at 17.6 hours per week, while hours spent on the Internet increased 12% to 25.3 per week.

On the positive side, roughly 3 million of the 44 million affluents owned tablet computers or e-readers; that's equal to about 1% of the U.S. population, and the proportion is growing, as an equivalent number said they plan to buy a tablet computer or e-reader in the next year.



Interestingly, younger affluent survey subjects appear to be more receptive to magazine advertising: 18- to-34-year-olds were 9% more likely to find magazine ads interesting than older members of the affluent cohort. That's actually relatively low, as the younger group was 28% more likely to have interest in Web site ads, and 47% more likely to have interest in cinema ads, according to Ipsos Mendelsohn.

The research outfit says the affluent cohort overall accounts for about 60% of total U.S. household income and about 70% of all net worth. They are twice as likely to buy goods and services tracked by Mendelsohn and spend almost three times as much when they make these purchases.

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