Top Five Takeaways from the 2016 Magazine Media Factbook

The numbers are in and we’re not surprised — but you might be. With the boom in affordable devices and connectivity, web audiences are growing right alongside television audiences who enjoy bigger screens and more programming. The assumption might be that these digital audiences are growing at the expense of magazine audiences, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Magazine readership continues to enjoy year-over-year growth, and magazine advertising continues to prove itself more effective at boosting brand awareness and trust, as well as persuading more people to take an interest in and purchase products and services. What’s more, magazine advertising is now one of the best ways to boost the effectiveness of your other efforts. In other words, if you want the best returns on all your advertising investments, then adding magazines to your media mix is a must. Not convinced? Take a look at these ten print advertising statistics from the 2016-2017 Magazine Media Factbook.

95% of People Under 25 Read Magazines (Tweet This)

​This number holds steady year after year, shattering the stereotype that young people are tossing print aside. The allure of high-quality photos and graphics, still images, complete lack of pop-ups and other interruptions, plus durable messaging that’s available again and again are keeping people of all ages hooked on magazines. The science is in: paper-based reading stimulates emotions, drives sensory involvement, provides more focused attention and is preferred by the majority of people.

Print and Digital Magazine Audiences Are Growing

​While more and more people join the digital revolution, the assumption might be that online audiences are growing at the expense of magazine readers. The good news is that people are happy to enjoy multiple channels of communication and print audiences are growing year over year. In just the last three years, the total magazine audience has grown by almost 6 million people. Digital edition magazines are also on fire with the total audience growing by more than 6 million people over the last three years.

Magazine Advertising Campaigns Are More Successful

When the intent of the advertising is to drive brand awareness, brand favorability and purchase intent, advertising in print is generating bigger increases than online or TV advertising. It’s not surprising that the biggest lift is seen in brand favorability, as magazines are year-after-year the most trusted resource by consumers.When measuring brand awareness across channels, the biggest lifts were seen when print was added to an online or television campaign. You might think this is due simply to the added exposure, but the numbers show that the most positive variable is a print campaign. Online advertising alone provided an average of four percent lift in brand awareness; television alone provided a five percent lift. Combining online and TV together only netted a six percent lift.

Magazine Readers Stay Tuned-In Longer (Tweet This)

Television and internet advertising might be great ways to get quick and direct messages to your consumers. However, if you’re looking to deliver in-depth messaging that tells the reader a story or gives them all the information they need to trust a brand or make a sale, then magazines are the right channel. The average amount of time spent with print and digital edition magazine issues is almost one hour per issue. Compare that to the fact that more than half of all web surfers spend less than 15 seconds on a website, and the choice is clear.

Print is NOT Dead, Magazines Are Flourishing

​A total of 65 print magazines have flourished for more than 100 years. More than 185 print magazines have made it past the 50-year mark. Websites and web pages come and go, and only 15 television programs have made it past the 50-year milestone. In other words, the variety of channels available to advertisers ebbs and flows over the years. However, the one constant that today’s audience can count on is magazine advertising.​Far from being a fad or a result of current technology that will soon be obsolete, magazine advertising has proven itself a durable powerhouse of the last century. This year’s print advertising statistics tell all. The number of magazine readers is growing, and the influence that magazine advertising has on every other channel — from TV and radio to newspapers and other print outlets — is also growing.

What does this mean for advertisers? Not only should print advertising remain a staple in your media mix, but also that every time you’re considering a single media channel for an ad campaign, reconsider the boost you will get from simply adding a complementary print ad, too.

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