For those who still doubt that magazines have a place in the digital world, new data proves magazines’ growing digital prowess. According to GfK MRI, adults who read magazines on digital platforms (including desktop/laptop computers, tablets, e-readers and smartphones) make up 11 percent of gross magazine audience impressions.

In its annual Survey of the American Consumer, Gfk MRI interviews approximately 26,000 American adults on their media consumption habits (which spans 6,000 products in 550 categories, as well as their “their lifestyles and attitudes”, according to a prepared news statement). “Because these interviews are structured as an area of probability study, the results are projectable to the entire U.S. adult population,” says the statement.

Out of 1.6 billion magazine impressions, digital-only consumers contribute 166 million. The print-only audience still supplies the largest sector of magazine reader exposures, at 1.278 billion.

While many publishers are choosing to bundle digital and print products in one subscription, readers who read on virtual and paper platforms represent the smallest division of the overall magazine audience. Only 135 million impressions come from users who access content from both. It will be interesting to see whether audiences will continue along these polarized tracks of print- or digital-only activity.

The magazine digital audience is heavily male (63 percent are men), with 42 percent of digital readers holding at least a Bachelor’s degree. Millenials (born 1977-1994 and aged 17-34 years) make up the largest slice of digital readers, generation-wise, representing 54 percent.

The baby boomer generation (nee 1946-1964, and ages 47-64) is the lowest percentage of age groups represented in GfK MRI’s data (which included aforementioned millenials, the boomers and GenXers, those born from 1965-1976). Only 20 percent of boomers surveyed consume digital mag content.

This data was gathered in two six-month periods, with the digital-only data gathered from March to October 2011.

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