Commentary

Magazine Study Shows Key Growth in Mobile, Video Audiences

Publishers that want to survive into the next decade need to optimize their strategies for mobile devices — and keep pivoting to video. That's the biggest takeawayfrom a study of audience habits published this week by the Association of Magazine Media.

The trade group pulled together audience data for 135 of the biggest U.S. magazines, including their print and digital audiences. The digital metrics consist of mobile and desktop visits to publisher websites, along with the time viewers spent watching streaming video.

>Mobile access to publisher websites rose to 37% this year of the total magazine audience, from 21% in 2014. Video's share of the media mix expanded fivefold to 10%, from 2% during that same period, according to the study, which the AMM released on Wednesday at a media research gathering it hosts every few years.

Those gains more than offset steady declines for print and desktop readership, whose share of the media mix dropped to 44% this year from 61% five years ago.

advertisement

advertisement

Those trends indicate publishers need to develop strategies to drive mobile readership and deliver eyeballs to advertisers. Those mobile strategies also need to include video content, especially as higher-speed 5G cellular networks make data-heavy visuals less onerous for viewers in the next few years.

>Every major magazine publisher -- including Hearst, Conde Nast and Meredith -- has beefed up video content, either on websites or video-sharing platforms like YouTube.

Digital newcomers like BuzzFeed, Vice and Vox also ramped up their video production, only to scale back those ambitions in the past couple of years. Their experience shows that publishers need to manage their expectations for video, which can be a challenge to monetize in a crowded market.

Next story loading loading..