Today Mequoda released their annual Digital Magazine Market Study, a project that we’ve worked on with them for several years. The results from the study are meant to help magazine publishers determine where they should focus their goals when developing their digital magazines. For example, is it worth it to develop a digital replica—a simple PDF version of your magazine on a tablet?—or should you develop a reflow plus, a more interactive and app-like digital magazine?
Here are a few of the findings (download the report here):
- We polled 3,642 U.S. adults with Internet access.
- 36.8% of U.S. adults report having read one or more digital magazine issues in the last 30 days.
- 70% report having read one or more print magazine issues in the that same time period.
- With an average number of 2.37 digital issues read per person and an average of 2.91 print issues read per person, this puts digital magazine consumption at 43% of print magazine consumption and climbing rapidly.
- Americans will spend more than $1.3 billion on digital magazines in 2015 and demand readable, scrollable text above all other digital magazine functionality.
- Two out of three respondents say 20 articles or less per issue is the perfect length for a digital magazine.
- The best feature of digital magazines, according to our respondents, is immediate delivery. Last year when we polled, the top answer was to save paper.
This year we didn’t produce a video to go with the study, but while we’re sharing, I thought it would be fun to look back at past studies and videos to see how things have changed. Each year we do the study with Mequoda, consumers continue to change, not only in their adoption of digital magazines, but also in their desire for certain features.
The first year we ran the study in 2011, it was called the Digital Native Survey. We interviewed a group of millennials (aka digital natives) to get their opinions on digital magazines. Frankly, we were shocked to see how many were already reading digital magazines. In addition to the study, we conducted a series of video interviews and created a trailer for the report:
In the next version, the Mequoda Tablet Study, we focused exclusively on active tablet users, to see if they would subscribe to digital magazines, and what would make them want to subscribe, if they didn’t already. We also wanted to find out what they do on their tablets, so that we could teach magazine publishers about the habits of their most likely digital magazine subscribers.
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In last year’s Digital Magazine Market Study, we drilled down more specifically, targeting only digital magazine readers and subscribers. We wanted to find out what features they want, what they like, and dislike. We learned a lot. For example, “going green” was their main reason for subscribing to digital magazines. This huge take-away taught publishers to use more language in their marketing about going paperless and wasting less.
This year, we’ve included more questions that go beyond tablets, including web magazines—a platform Mequoda feels is the next and best logical step for digital magazine publishers.
We love working on research projects like this! If you have any projects in mind, let’s chat!