A recently published YouGov report – Magazine Consumption 2015 – investigates the magazine market, questioning the notion that it is an industry in decline characterised by falling sales and readership numbers. But is the sector showing signs of resilience?
YouGov’s findings show that 36% of adults buy magazines, 48% read print and 10% read digital magazine giving a net 52% who are readers or buyers.
As one might expect, cost is the main barrier to a higher numbers of readers. Of those who are ex-readers, five in ten stopped because it became too expensive. In terms of those who buy less often than they used to, cost is the most important factor, 41% cannot afford to buy magazines currently.
There is good news however; print does appear to have a future, and it may be a case of aesthetics (43% like this) and convenience (45%). For just less than half (49%), they simply prefer print to digital.
Of course, a digital offering is important. Reading on tablets is an alternative or addition to print for a quarter (26%) and smartphones are also being used more widely for this purpose (14%). The increased predilection of under 40s to use either of these methods is a pointer to the future of the industry.
James McCoy, Research Director, YouGov Reports commented on the findings: ‘Although the magazine industry is under pressure and some titles are seeing readership numbers fall, there are some positive signs.
“Combining the traditional and innovative elements of a publication’s offering is key, whilst also being conscious of cost passed on to the consumer. Magazines such as GQ, Monocle and The Week have presented a workable and successful strategy which others could look to replicate.”