The gap between magazine print and mobile audiences is narrowing

The NRS Jan-Dec 2016 sample of 12 surveyed magazines are showing interesting results in readership across the different platforms of print/mobile/PC.

While the majority of magazines are still enjoyed in their printed form, mobile continues to play a growing role in readership. 7 of the 12 surveyed magazine brands have a bigger print audience than PC or mobile – some much greater than others. On the whole mobile audiences are generally either steady or growing across all titles.

Hello currently records a combined print and digital audience of a little less than 4 million, with 2.5 million of those coming from print and 1.4 million coming from mobile.

Similarly, 1.6 million of Heat’s 2.2 million-strong audience prefer to pick up a printed copy, while 620,000 access the online edition on their mobile or tablet.

For film lovers’ favorite Empire, which has a total readership of 1.1 million, 708,000 are from print and 362,000 on mobile.

Both Hello and Heat, however, have seen their print audience decline and mobile readership grow since the last reported period.

For other print-dominated titles OK, Elle, Glamour and Top Gear, the split is less significant – with most titles’ print and mobile split now almost even.

BBC Good Food and Time Out continue to benefit the most from digital, with almost 6.2 million of BBC Good Food’s 8.8 million-strong audience coming from mobile and 2.3 million from PC.

For Time Out’s readership of 5.1 million, mobile accounts for 3.4 million while PC brings in 1.4 million.

The Radio Times and NME’s readerships are also dominated by mobile, followed by print, with PC playing a small but still notable role for both brands.

It will be of great interest if NRS sample these same titles again for 2017 and to see what (if any) switch of readership there will be. If some titles are accounting for the majority of readership across mobile and PC, (such as Good Food for example) how long will it be before the print editions cease to exist as with the Independent newspaper model or InStyle?


– written by Melanie Levene

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