Who’s Reading Magazines?
Inside MRI’s Fall 2007 Report.
People magazine gets around.
According to the latest report from Mediamark Research Intelligence (MRI), each copy of People is read by a median of 11.34 readers. With an audience size of 42.4 million and a circulation of 3.7 million, People dominates in readership against its top four competitors: Star ranks second in terms of readers per copy (6.95); Us Weekly is close by with 6.74 readers per copy; Entertainment Weekly (5.79) and In Touch (5.65) round out the category.
Surprisingly, readers of Esquire-which distinguishes itself in its online media kit by touting "while other men’s magazines are written for highly aspirational readers, Esquire is geared towards men who have arrived"-have the lowest median household income for adults ($53,783) among five of its top competitors. (To be fair, Esquire’s readership has seen a marked increase in affluence since 2002, when it had a median income of $42,602). Men’s Journal leads the pack with a median of $77,063, followed by Men’s Health ($76,865), GQ ($68,746), Men’s Fitness ($68,486) and Maxim ($65,614). Esquire’s readers are also the oldest of the group, with a median age of 43.9 years. Maxim is on the low end, with a median age of 28.4 for adults.
Male vs. Female
In terms of sex, Esquire appeals to the highest percentage of women (33.8 percent) while Maxim-top in both circ and audience size-has a female readership of 23 percent.
As another example, 30 percent of Scientific American’s readers are female versus Popular Science’s 14.9 percent, while PopSci has 3 million more readers than SciAm, with a circ of 1.3 million versus SciAm’s 574,000.
Women’s magazines tend to have less crossover. Just 6.5 percent of Glamour magazine readers are male, versus Vogue’s 13 percent, while Glamour’s circ and audience size remains higher by one and two million, respectively. In terms of readership, Glamour (12.5 million) and Vogue (10.5 million) are both higher than Redbook (9.8 million) and Seventeen (8.7 million). Allure (5.9 million) has a leg up on Marie Claire (3.5 million) in the readership category.
In the battle over the sports reader, Sports Illustrated’s audience of nearly 21 million tops ESPN the Magazine’s 13.7 million. The age gap between readers has grown larger since last year, as the median age of ESPN readers has dropped from 33.1 to 31.8 while the median age of SI readers has climbed slightly from 38.4 to 39.1.
This year’s MRI results also support the point made by airline magazine marketers that in-flights have a notably affluent readership. Comparing the six top in-flight magazines, the median yearly household income for adult readers ranges from United’s Hemispheres ($123,234) to Continental ($88,831).
Martha vs. Oprah
The affluence of Oprah and Martha Stewart’s readers is nearly identical, with median income separated by less than $1,000 (Martha’s $68,914 versus Oprah’s $68,294), but Oprah continues to prevail in audience size. O, The Oprah Magazine’s audience is at more than 16 million-a four percent increase from last year’s results-versus Martha’s almost 12 million-a one percent increase.
|Magazine||Readers Per Copy (Adults)|
|Stock Car Racing||44.89|
|Popular Hot Rodding||33.81|
|Magazine||Median Household Income|
|Wall Street Journal||$121,832.00|
|New York Times (Sunday)||$109,304.00|
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The information in the above chart has been corrected. Because of a sorting error, FOLIO: had incorrectly listed the top five magazines in both categories. The lists above are now correct.]