Print magazines will be around for many years, but they will be lot fewer in number. Why do I say this? Because as part of the study, “The Case for Advertising in Interactive Digital Magazines,” I measured the percentage of print magazine and website users who were “very actively involved” in their media. When I tabulated this against the age of the respondents, I found that younger respondents were less often heavy print magazine users. I found the opposite for heavy users of websites.
Why measure seriously involved media users? Because most often they determine the future of any media. If the most active users of Facebook started leaving where would Facebook be? Looking more like MySpace.
Print magazines readers skew older. The number of respondents who subscribe to more than
six print magazines increases steadily with every 10 years added to a respondent’s age. Almost half (47.6%) of the sample over the age of 70 subscribe to more than six print magazines. But with each 10-year decline in respondent age group, the number of serious magazine readers drops consistently.
For respondents under the age of 20, only about one in five (21.5%) subscribe to more than six print publications. Assuming readers maintain their reading habits as they age, there will be less demand for print magazines in the future.
But print magazines will not disappear. One in five (21.5%) under the age of 20 still subscribe to more than 6 magazines. While that is less than half the number for those over 70 who do so, it is still a very significant base. Print magazines are not dead, nor will they die. The difficult transition we are in now is a question of oversupply, not ineffectiveness. When magazines get though this transition there will be fewer of them but they will be robust once again.
Information on “The Case for Advertising in Interactive Digital Magazines” can be found HERE. The chart above combines findings #16 and 17 from the study. The study was sponsored by VIVmag and Nxtbook Media.