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More Magazine Readers Get Glossies on Mobile Web

Magazine audience continues shift from full print, digital editions to mobile web

August 14, 2015

According to data from MPA - The Association of Magazine Media, the US magazine audience rose nearly 10% between H1 2014 and H1 2015, from about 1.48 billion to nearly 1.66 billion.

US Magazine Audience Share, by Platform, H1 2014 & H1 2015 (% of total)

Magazine readers continued to move away from full magazine editions during the first half of this year. The share of the traditional print and digital edition magazine audience—digital meaning an electronic reproduction of the magazine, such as an app version that looks just like the magazine but in electronic format—slipped 7 percentage points year over year, from 65% to 58%. Meanwhile, mobile web readers fueled growth, with this audience soaring 67.4% between H1 2014 and H1 2015—far ahead of the 10% recorded by second-place video. That the two led for growth once again indicates reader demand for quick content access.

Overall, eMarketer estimates that US magazine ad spending will total $19.02 billion this year, with print reaching $15.05 billion and digital coming in at $3.96 billion. By 2019, when advertisers in the US will spend $19.75 billion on magazine placements, digital magazine ad spending will reach $4.46 billion, still far behind the $15.29 billion expected for print.

US Magazine Industry Social Network

Other research by MPA finds that the magazine industry continues to see success on social—and Facebook remains the dominant network. At the end of June 2015, the social network accounted for 48.7% of “likes” and followers of US magazine brands on social networks, vs. 20.9% for second-place Twitter.

However, Instagram could prove to be an effective social channel for magazines. In Q2 2015, the social network saw the number of magazine media industry “likes” and followers rise a whopping 37.5%. No other social network came close, with Twitter’s 10.2% increase the second-highest gain.

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