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Print Readership is Growing Among Millenials

6 Jun, 2012 By: Jackie Jones

NEW YORK – In a positive boost to print advertisers, magazine readership among millennials is actually growing, according to a new study from Conde Nast.

While many brands and publications alike often assume that millennials sacrifice print for whatever is on their iPads, smartphones or computer screens, print magazine readership among 18- to 24-year-olds is actually the highest it’s ever been, reported Conde Nast, who conducted a similar study six years ago as well.

“There’s a misperception about what’s going on with printed magazines,” Scott McDonald, senior vice president of market research at Conde Nast, said in an Adweek report. “I thought that coming back and redoing the study after six years of this brutal recession, particularly one that’s been very hard on millennials, I would have expected to see more bad news. But what I saw was pretty much the same story as six years ago, and in some cases, actually some improvement. Magazines’ overall readership numbers still get negatively impacted by decline of these enormous magazines like TV Guide and Reader’s Digest, but if you look at it category by category, you get a very different picture.”

While more millennials do turn to digital channels for news, causing weekly news magazines to lose half their print readership in the last 20 years, other magazine categories have fared much better, according to the data, which was pulled from the GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer. Fashion and beauty attracts about 50 percent more young readers in 2011 when compared to 2001; men’s magazines have gained popularity with those 18- to 24-years-old; and the biggest area of print readership growth in the past decade is in the celebrity category, which more than doubled its readership among millennials.

“It’s fundamentally wrong to say young people don’t read magazines printed on paper,” McDonald added. “In just the basic ink on paper proposition: you’ve had enough growth that’s kept up with the interest of the population; they’re (young people) still reading it. It’s a more complicated story, and if it’s dominated by looking at the decline of Reader’s Digest, TV Guide or the ‘seven sisters,’ then it’s missing the real story of what’s going on.”

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