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Print Magazine Readers Outnumber Digital 2 To 1

Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015

According to a recent study by Mequoda, 69.6% of adult Americans have read an average of 2.91 print magazine issues in the last 30 days. This means that 147 million adults have read an average of 428 million print magazine issues in the last 30 days.

And, 36.8% of American adults have read an average of 2.37 digital magazine issues in the last 30 days. This means that 77 million adults have read an average of 184 million digital magazine issues in the last 30 days.

Among US adults with internet access, 7 in 10 surveyed report having read a print magazine issue in the past 30 days, almost twice the proportion (37%) who have read a digital magazine issue, according to the study.

Digital magazine consumers are split on their magazine format preference. The web edition showed a tiny edge over print and tablet editions, but at this stage of the game, digital magazine consumers seem relatively equal on their preference for tablet editions versus print editions versus web editions.

The most important functionalities of a digital magazine, per readers, are readable (79% very important) and scrollable text (56% very important) By comparison, far fewer perceive other functionalities such as copy and past capability (23%) and links to websites (20%) as being very important.

42% of American adults who read digital magazines say immediate delivery is the most important digital magazine attribute, followed closely by ‘portable and easy to carry’, ‘cheaper than print’ and ‘environmentally friendly’.

The Mequoda results are based on a survey of 3,642 US adults with internet access. Some 53% of respondents are female, and 53% are aged 45 and older. Slightly more than one-third (34%) have household income of at least $100k.

Key Findings Summary

  • 36.8% of those surveyed reported having read one or more digital magazine issues in the last 30 days
  • This 36.8% reported having read an average of 2.37 digital magazine issues in the last 30 days, bringing total digital magazine issue consumption to 184 million*


Compared to print magazine consumption, the report shows that:

  • 69.6% of US adults reported having read one or more print magazine issues in the last 30 days
  • This 69.6% reported having read an average of 2.91 print magazine issues in the last 30 days, brining total print magazine circulation to 428 million*
  • Digital magazine consumption has now reached 43% of print magazine consumption and is climbing rapidly.


On average, over the last 12 months, there has been an average spend from US adults on digital magazine subscriptions and single copy issues of $17.20, bringing total spending on digital magazines to more than $1.3 billion, says the report. Americans Will Spend More than $1.3 Billion on Digital Magazines in 2015.


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