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Magazines Reaching the Print-Digital Audience Tipping Point

December 19, 2011
NEW YORK—Dec. 19, 2011—For most magazines, leveraging digital platforms to deliver content and advertising has helped to extend the audience reach of their brands. For a handful, the audiences generated through digital delivery channels have now surpassed their traditional print delivery.
 
According to the most recent wave of Affinity’s American Magazine Study surveys—which report the total magazine brand footprint across print, mobile and social platforms, as well as integrating magazine Website data from comScore’s Media Metrix—there are now 15 magazines generating larger digital audiences than print reader numbers.
 
Affinity Tipping Point Chart
[+] click to enlarge
For some of these brands—like WebMD the Magazine, ESPN the Magazine and Food Network Magazine—it may come as no surprise, since the printed magazine is an extension of an already established Web or broadcast presence. But the remaining brands reflect a conscious effort on the part of the publisher to develop new distribution outlets beyond the printed page.
 
A closer look at the brands that have crossed the digital tipping point when it comes to the audience delivery of their branded content, reveals that they are all leveraging multiple platforms in order to grow their digital audiences beyond their traditional print readers.
 
Digital platforms employed by the magazine brands that have crossed the audience tipping point:
  • Barron’s  — Website, Social networks, Tablet apps, eReader apps
  • ESPN the Magazine  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps, Zinio
  • Fast Company  — Website, Social networks, Tablet apps, eReader apps, Texterity
  • Food Network Magazine — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps, Zinio
  • Forbes  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps
  • Fortune  — Website, Social networks, Tablet apps, eReader apps
  • Harvard Business Review  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps, Zinio
  • MacWorld  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps, Zinio
  • Money — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps
  • New York Magazine  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps
  • Sporting News  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, Zinio
  • The Atlantic  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps
  • The Economist  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps, Zinio
  • WebMD the Magazine  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, Zinio
  • Wired  — Website, Social networks, Smartphone apps, Tablet apps, eReader apps

To keep pace with the rapidly evolving magazine marketplace and the changing dynamics of print and digital readership, Affinity’s American Magazine Study will begin reporting total brand audience estimates for magazine brands on a quarterly basis in 2012, beginning with the AMS Spring wave.
 
About Affinity’s American Magazine Study 
AMS employs a contemporary, Web-based methodology to survey more than 60,000 consumers annually. AMS is the industry’s premier source for total magazine brand readership across print and digital channels, including magazine Websites, social networks, electronic subscriptions and the growing number of apps designed for mobile devices. AMS Web audience estimates are derived from comScore’s Media Metrix data, using a state-of-the-art integration process to capture the real-time Web behavior of AMS respondents through direct passive measurement.

About Affinity
Affinity is a media research firm specializing in magazine audience measurement and accountability tracking. Affinity’s products include ProofReader (campaign pre-testing), The American Magazine Study (print and digital magazine audience measurement), and the VISTA Service (in-market effectiveness of print and digital magazine ads).

Source: Affinity.
 

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