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Growing Pains

In their MPA Factbook 2013/2014, The Association of Magazine Media (MPA) reports some encouraging results for an industry that’s in desperate need of some.

While print advertising—still by far the core of the magazine business—continues to contract, ad units in magazine tablet editions have soared 22 percent so far this year versus last.

Three years after Apple unveiled the iPad and revolutionized the way consumers interact with content, tablets still account for a tiny share of magazine readership—just 3.3 percent of total circulation, although
magazine apps are top sellers in key iPad categories. Some of the top-grossing iPad apps as of July 2013 are magazines: GQ , Men’s Health O, The Oprah Magazine, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan and The Economist, to name a few.

Tablet sales are still growing at a brisk clip. By 2017, tablet users are projected to number 160.7 million, or about half the population, up from 128 million this year, according to eMarketer.

To put the numbers in perspective, it’s important to understand exactly who is reading digital editions. The statistics show that customers who read digital publications on tablets or other mobile devices are influencers by virtue of them being tech-savvy and upwardly mobile. They have disposable income and are apt to make purchases directly from digital magazine apps.

Male 54.6 %
Female 45.4%

13-17 5.3%
18-24 15.3%
25-34 28.2%
35-44 21.1%
45-54 17.5%
55-64 7.4%
65+ 5.3%

Annual household income:
Less than $25,000 7.8%
$25,000-$50,000 17.5%
$50,000-$75,000 19.4%
$75,000-$100,000 16.6%
$100,000+ 38.7%

Note: Magazine readership on tablets (3-month average
ending August 2012; percent of total U.S. tablet owners,
age 13+) Source: comScore TabLens, October 2012

Digital Only Print Only
median age 44.6 54.8
male 60% 47%
female 40% 53%
average income $130.0K $117.4K

Source: Condé Nast Digital Subscriber Survey, June 2012

Digital readers want to buy directly from their magazine apps:

67% are interested in purchasing products and services directly from the ads they see in digital magazines.
62% are interested in buying products and services directly from the articles and features they read in digital magazines.

Source: ORC Caravan, May 2013

Although penetration in digital publishing media is still only a fraction of what it is in print, based on consumer demographics, the opportunities are unlimited and growing. Slow and steady will win this race.

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