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Magazine Audience Sizes Flat-to-Growing, Per GfK MRI Numbers

42 percent of surveyed titles are up 5 percent or more in print.



TJ Raphael By TJ Raphael
05/30/2013

 

Print reading audiences are on the rise, according to spring 2013 data released this week by measurement firm GfK MRI. Of the 181 titles surveyed, about 42 percent or 76 titles saw print audience size increase by 5 percent or more from spring 2012 to spring 2013.

About 35 publications saw audiences grow from 5 to 10 percent, while 41 saw gains of 10 percent or more. In all, 11 titles grew audience by more than 20 percent year-over-year, including:

  • Diabetes Forecast saw an increase of 48.73 percent
  • Veranda saw its audience increase by 32.52 percent
  • Yoga Journal saw a gain of 31.18 percent
  • Mother Earth News reported an increase of 27.72 percent
  • Costal Living saw a jump of 26.95 percent
  • Food Network Magazine grew its audience by 25.56 percent
  • Diabetic Cooking saw an increase of 25.04 percent
  • United Hemispheres grew by 24.93 percent
  • Elle Decor reported a gain of 23.92 percent
  • Life & Style Weekly saw a jump of 23.22 percent

While these publications reported gains when comparing spring 2012 to spring 2013, several also saw declines. About 15 publications reported losses between 5 percent and 10 percent, with 12 losing 10 percent or more. The biggest loser was Meredith’s FamilyFun magazine, which reported a drop of 23.28 percent, while Mansueto Ventures’ Inc. saw a drop of 21.52 percent. IDG’s PCWorld magazine saw a drop of 21.25 percent, and American Media Inc.’s* Star magazine also reported a double-digit loss of 16.50 percent.

When comparing fall 2012 to spring 2013, the number of publications losing 5 percent or more increased slightly, with 32 publications reporting a decrease in audience. About 23 publications saw declines from 5 to 10 percent, with 9 losing 10 percent or more.

The biggest loser for this period was also Meredith’s FamilyFun, which saw a decline of 16.85 percent when comparing fall 2012 and spring 2013. The second largest loss came from North American Fisherman with a decrease of 15.51 percent, followed by Source Interlink Media’s Street Rodder magazine with a drop of 13.11 percent. AMI’s Star also reported a loss when comparing fall to spring, dropping by 12.18 percent.

Though there were several titles with losses, many magazines also posted gains in the short term, with about 16 titles growing audience by more than 10 percent. Diabetes Forecast reported the largest short-term increase with a gain of 32.23 percent, followed by Psychology Today with an increase of 23.03 percent. Yoga Journal also saw a jump of 20.50 percent, while United Hemispheres magazine saw its audience increase by 20.36 percent. Rounding out the top five biggest gainers when comparing fall 2012 with spring 2013 was Condé Nast’s Teen Vogue, which grew by 19.41 percent.

Digital Audience Impacts

Though the number of magazines with growing print audiences is on the rise, the combined digital (excluding Web traffic) and print audience is giving boosts to publishers. When including print and digital audiences in the spring 2012 to 2013 comparisons, 39 publications saw audience gains between 5 and 10 percent, with 42 seeing gains of 10 percent of more. Nine publications reported audience increases of 20 percent or more when including digital figures, including:

  • Digital gave Yoga Journal a 36.59 percent increase in audience
  • Psychology Today grew its audience by 36.03 percent when including digital
  • Veranda’s audience grew by 33.15 percent when including digital figures
  • Mother Earth News saw its audience increase by 27.65 percent
  • Costal Living magazine’s combined audience gave it a 27.07 percent bump
  • United Hemisphere saw its audience increase by 24.93 percent
  • Life & Style Weekly saw an increase of 23.22 percent
  • The Atlantic grew its audience by 21.71 percent when including print and digital
  • Handy saw its total audience increase by 20.39 percent when including digital figures

While 81 of the 181 publications surveyed saw increases when combining print and digital audiences, about 15 publications saw declines of 5 to 10 percent when looking at both segments, with 12 seeing declines of 10 percent or more. The biggest loser was again FamilyFun magazine, which reported a 22.51 percent loss when looking at the combined audience year-over-year. Inc. also reported a drop of 21.20 percent even with the combined audience and PCWorld saw a drop of 20.37 percent.

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*Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Bauer Publishing publishes Star magazine. It is published by American Media Inc. 

TJ Raphael By TJ Raphael
05/30/2013







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