Commentary

Social Media Buzz Drives Readers to Print (When Caitlyn Jenner's Involved)

The July issue of Vanity Fair, which featured Caitlyn Jenner in her first public appearance after her gender transition, predictably generated an enormous amount of social media conversation. What’s a bit more surprising: this buzz prompted many people to actually, like, read the magazine -- the print version (gasp).

Vanity Fair first revealed that Jenner would be on the cover with a tweet on June 1, about two weeks before the magazine hit the newsstands, touching off a cascade of social media engagement.

According to special custom research conducted by GfK MRI, 43% of adults who read the July issue had first heard about Jenner’s appearance on the cover from social media. Furthermore, 40% hadn’t read Vanity Fair in the previous 12 months, with 47% of these between the ages of 18-34 -- indicating that the magazine reached a huge number of new readers, thanks in large part to social media.

The engagement didn’t end there: 58% of respondents said they discussed the Caitlyn Jenner article with other people, 20% passed the article along to someone else, and 8% saved the article for future reference. Turning to future readership, 37% of the new readers said they were “very likely” or “extremely likely” to read other issues from Vanity Fair, and 31% of all respondents said they were “very likely” or “extremely likely” to visit the VF Web site after reading the July issue.

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VF isn’t the only media source benefiting from social media buzz: 46% of respondents said they plan to watch or have already watched E! network’s documentary about Jenner, “I Am Cait.”

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