Magazines: People still prefer print

Chris PolechonskiSenior Research Executive Digital, Media and Technology
May 28, 2013, 2:25 PM GMT+0

Six in ten people read magazines but almost two-fifths of them buy copies less often than they used to

New research from YouGov Reports shows that more than six in ten (63%) UK adults read magazines, but of people who buy magazines two in five (39%) are purchasing copies less often than they used to.

The ‘Magazine Consumption’ report shows that 44% of adults buy and read printed magazines while a further 15% read without buying. Just over one in ten regularly (11%) read online magazines.

The YouGov report research found that despite the growth of digital publications people feel a strong affinity for print titles, with more than two-fifths (43%) of magazine buyers preferring print to digital. A similar number (42%) like the look and feel of printed magazines and a third (33%) choose hard copies of publications because they find them more convenient. Just over one in twenty (6%) read more online magazines that print titles.

Pricing up

Despite this affinity with print, over a fifth (21%) say they buy titles less frequently than they used to because of costs. Magazine buyers are resigned to price increases with more than a third (36%) expecting the cost of titles to increase with inflation while a quarter (25%) expect annual rises.

Consumers are prescriptive in what makes them purchase a title with over half (51%) saying exclusive content makes a magazine good value for money. Other important selling points are in-depth content (46%), relevance to their interests (42%) and articles that provide good practical advice (37%).

In terms of what consumers are willing to pay for a title it seems – unsurprisingly – that cheaper is better. A majority of magazine readers (55%) believe £0.50-£1.50 is good price for a weekly magazine, while a further fifth (19%) would be prepared to pay up to £2.00. For monthly magazines opinion is more fragmented. A third (33%) think £1.51-£2.50 is a reasonable price and three in ten (30%) would pay £2.51-£3.50. One in ten (10%) consumers would be prepared to spend up to £4.00.


This is a 4 wave tracker. For this report a survey was commissioned in March 2012 among a nationally representative sample of 2,102 UK adults aged 16+ via YouGov SixthSense’s online panel.
The topics covered in the questionnaire include:

  • reading magazines in print and online
  • where magazines are read
  • frequency of purchase
  • factors influencing choice of title
  • influences on perceptions of value
  • attitudes towards magazines
  • reasons for reading
  • depth of reading
  • reading and purchase of children’s magazines
  • attitudes towards children’s magazines and their content
  • attitudes towards children’s leisure activities.

Learn more about the "Magazine Consumption 2013" Report

Learn more about YouGov Reports