MPA Benchmarks Mobile Magazine Consumption in New Study

NEW YORK—Nov. 21, 2011—MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, has issued “The Magazine Mobile Reader,” the first study to exclusively examine the attitudes and behaviors of a select group of consumers: tablet and eReader owners who read app-based magazines on those devices. The study, conducted by independent research firm Affinity, sheds light on consumers’ engagement with digital magazines, their preferences for newsstand and digital edition functionality, and their views on digital commerce.

For the study, Affinity pre-screened magazine consumers (adults 18+) for ownership of tablet and eReader devices, as well as use of magazine-branded apps. The survey netted a total of 1,009 mobile magazine readers who completed the online questionnaire.

“With market penetration of both mobile devices and digital magazines finally hitting their stride, we felt that now is the perfect time to conduct this research—a study that we couldn’t have executed credibly a year ago with such a small pool of potential respondents,” noted Wayne Eadie, SVP/Research, MPA. “The timing allows us to establish what we hope will be a yardstick for future studies, to chart the swells and ebbs of mobile magazine usage and consumer behavior.”

One major finding is that tablet/eReader ownership boosts magazine reading, and consumers are engaged with the digital editions they read. The majority of respondents (90 percent) said that, since acquiring a mobile device, they are consuming just as much, if not more, magazine content—66 percent plan to consume more digital magazines and 63 percent want even more magazine content in digital form. Consumers (55 percent) like to read digital back issues of titles—83 percent are interested in archiving an article or an entire issue and 86 percent want to be able to share issues or articles.

The study also reveals consumer preferences in terms of app discovery, content architecture and interactive elements. Most respondents want more electronic newsstands (76 percent) as well as the ability to easily find specific titles to download (79 percent). Consumers (82 percent) are even interested in including a gift card pre-loaded with a digital magazine subscription when giving a mobile device as a gift this holiday season. Regarding the digital reading experience, a strong majority (89 percent) would prefer that all titles offered the same functions and navigation scheme. In addition, 70 percent want videos in digital editions to run less than a minute.

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