Be Rich and Multiply: Mags For Affluent Readers Soar

The number of magazines targeting affluent consumers increased fivefold between 1997 and 2007, according to the Standard Periodical Directory released Monday by Oxbridge Communications. From a starting base of 90 titles in 1997, the field grew to 456 by the beginning of 2007. Money talks.

Deborah Striplin, editorial director of the Standard Periodical Directory, says: "We've seen tremendous growth in niche publications, including affluent publications, with new titles such as X-ology, covering technology and affluent lifestyle in Southeast Michigan, and Enclave, which features luxury homes in various upscale locations."

The survey's results are in line with the most recent Mendelsohn Affluent Survey--an annual study investigating the habits of Americans with income exceeding $85,000 a year, published in September 2006. That survey found that affluent Americans are reading more magazines than they did a year ago.

The news for print publications was especially encouraging, according to Mitch Lurin, the president of Mendelsohn, who led the study. In September, Lurin remarked: "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--specifically, a concentration among marine titles. Thus, Boating readership jumped 40%, Motor Boating climbed 27%, Continental was up 45.5%, Ski was up 33% and Yachting was up 55.6%.

This positive result, however, was tempered by another finding from Monroe Mendelsohn, suggesting that regional luxury magazines delivered free to wealthy consumers often go unread.

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