5 Shocking Magazine Statistics


Naysayers have, for years, been touting the decline of print magazines. Claiming that people will abandon print in lieu of digital options, they prophesy that magazines will eventually disappear completely and for those that remain, their online versions will replace them. For that reason, we’ve kept a close eye on readership and advertising trends and here’s what you need to know...

Current evidence and trends tell us that magazines aren’t just surviving, but thriving. All the gloom and doom...has simply not happened. Here’s what we’ve discovered instead:

1. 94% of People Under 25 Read Magazines

Yep, you read that right. This number shocks most people because they have a stereotypical assumption that younger generations will throw print right out the window… which clearly isn’t the case. So, why would people in that tough-to-reach younger demographic be interested in print? The answer is simple. Magazines possess an allure that entices people to sit and savor each page, enjoying the mental time-out to sit and read them...whether it’s at home with a cup of tea or a glass of wine or in the doctor’s waiting room passing the time. With high-quality photos, creative graphics, still images, there are zero pop-ups or interruptions. Plus, the durable messaging that's readily-available keeps people of ALL ages hooked.

2. 73% of Adults Prefer Print on Paper for Reading

The majority of adults feel that reading a printed magazine or book is more enjoyable than reading on an electronic device. Their preference, when they have a choice, is for the tangible magazine in their hands. Here’s why:

  • They feel that they are retaining more when they read print on paper.
  • They are more easily distracted when reading on screens.
  • Print is more pleasant to handle and touch than other media. You can underline, highlight, circle, dog-ear and tab important information and pages. You can tear out recipes, articles and ads that you want to keep on hand.  
  • Quality, classy magazines are set out on end tables and coffee tables as part of the decor of their homes and offices. At home, a particular type of magazine on display adds to the image of a home for guests. In fact, the lifecycle of most city/regional magazines is 3 months, whereas electronic reading disappears almost immediately with no shelf-life at all.

3. 62% of Readers Take Action After Seeing a Print Magazine Advertisement.

Magazine makes an ideal stand-alone marketing campaign, as the credibility of the magazine and the perceived status of a business when they are seen in a high-quality magazine makes advertisers pay attention and respond to the ads. Quality ads that follow the rules of great design become part of the magazine-reading experience. Readers take them in and enjoy them like they do the rest of the magazine. And when your budget allows for a multi-strategy approach to advertising...magazine advertising adds a tangible, visible element to your advertising that isn’t available with any other medium. So, while magazine advertising can easily stand on its own, it is also the perfect addition to an existing electronic campaign. When your advertising develops a multi-sensory approach, your ad recall dramatically increases - a potential customer hears the ad on the radio, for example, and then sees it in the magazine they are holding, the more likely they are to remember it and act on it.  

4. Over 60 % of printed Magazine Readers spend at least 30 minutes reading each issue.

Contrast that with the average time someone is on a website (about 15 seconds), it’s no wonder that magazine advertising is so effective. Magazines provide a chance to mentally break away from a fast-paced world where we are overwhelmed with messages. We all crave a chance to unplug and focus on one thing at a time, leisurely enjoying a mental break. Magazine affords you the opportunity.

5. Magazine Readership, in 2018 was at 224.6 million digital and print readers.

That’s up from 210 million in 2012. It doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. More than 185 print magazines have made it past the 50-year mark. A total of 65 magazines have been flourishing for more than 100 years at this point. In fact, MPA’s Magazine Media Factbook states the top 25 print magazines reach more adults and teens than the top 25 primetime TV shows. In other words, many mediums will come and go, but print is in it for the long haul.

Final Takeaways

So, what does this mean? Magazine advertisements should be a staple in your advertising strategy.  Not only does it give you a unique reader targetability, it also extends your business credibility and legitimacy by being in a quality magazine. It’s also the perfect opportunity to enhance an existing campaign by placing a complimentary print ad to support the campaign visually...and affordably.


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