MPA: Magazines Hit Audience Of 2 Billion, Titles Found More Engaging Online

Trade organization MPA—The Association of Magazine Media has released a five-year study on magazine media audience trends.

The biggest finds from the report: Magazine media has reached a total audience of 2 billion and is more engaging to consumers online than non-magazine brands. (Magazine brands are defined in the study as titles traditionally founded on a print product.)

The report found that 81% of the time, audiences to magazine media sites are more engaged than those consuming similar content on non-magazine brand sites.

“Magazine brands have evolved into true multimedia platforms that grab and hold the attention of audiences,” stated Linda Thomas Brooks, president-CEO of MPA.

MPA studied over 135 brands, representing 95% of the American adult reader universe. The report used third-party data from MRI-Simmons, Ipsos, Comscore, CrowdTangle and SocialFlow. 



Since 2014, magazine media’s total audience has grown 24%. 

Two categories grew the most in the past five years: Mobile web audiences, those that access magazine websites from a mobile device, increased 122% in five years. Video audiences, on desktop or a mobile device, grew 425%.

“The pie itself has grown larger, with the pieces inside taking on different sizes in the past five years,” stated Jeri Dack, director of research initiatives at MPA. 

This is a reflection of the shift from the larger computer screen to the smaller mobile screen of tablets and cell phones in the last five years, according to MPA.

The study is divided into three reports: Brand Audience Report, which measures consumer demand by brand across platform; Social Media Report, which tracks brands’ following and engagement on social platforms; and Online Engagement Report, which compares the audience engagement for magazine brands versus non-magazine brands. 

Certain categories grew in overall audiences since 2014: Women’s Fashion & Beauty (66%), Business & Finance (47%) and Epicurean (34%).

As for social-media engagement, MPA compared the number of social actions (likes, comments, favorites, retweets, repins, sharing) to the number of posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, by publishers. 

It then compared magazine and non-magazine brands by social network, across 15 content categories.

Throughout the nine consecutive quarters of tracking engagement metrics by category, magazine brands’ averaged higher on both Facebook and Instagram than non-magazine brands. On Twitter, the two sectors tracked closely over the five years.

Looking at online engagement, MPA focused on four attributes of engagement, including reader loyalty (visits per visitor), time spent (minutes per visitor), interactions (page views per visitor) and brand affinity (social media actions per publisher post).

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