The Rich Get Richer Media: Use More Internet, Magazines Too

Affluent Americans are reading more consumer magazines and using the Internet for certain business transactions much more in 2006 than they did just a year ago, according to the Mendelsohn Affluent Survey, an annual study investigating the habits of Americans with income exceeding $85,000 a year.

The news for print publications was especially encouraging, according to Mitch Lurin, the president of Mendelsohn, who led the study: "This is a year where all you hear is doom and gloom: ad pages are going down, subscriptions are going down, newsstand is going down--all these heavy-hearted things. But among affluent Americans, magazine readership is as healthy as it's always been."

Not surprisingly, the Mendelsohn survey found big upswings for publications that specifically target the well-to-do, with a concentration among marine titles. Thus, Boating readership jumped 40 percent, Motor Boating climbed 27 percent, Continental was up 45.5 percent, Ski was up 33 percent, and Yachting was up 55.6 percent.

But more mainstream pubs also enjoyed a lift in affluent readership. In the auto category, Automobile Magazine was up 31.2 percent, and Car and Driver was up 20.9 percent. In personal finance and business, BusinessWeek was up 16 percent, Barron's was up 11 percent, Forbes was up 11 percent, Inc. was up 35 percent, and SmartMoney was up 24 percent. Meanwhile, among daily newspapers, the Investor's Business Daily was up 43 percent and the Financial Times was up by a remarkable 46.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the Internet made fewer inroads among affluent Americans, but the changes were still significant. Among the main findings: Mendelsohn found an increase of more than 7 percent in the number of respondents using the Internet to do their banking, and an increase of roughly 5 percent for making transactions including purchases.

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