File this one under “We are not surprised” — a recent survey of magazine reading habits found that consumers engage with print magazines longer than with digital counterparts.
The study, as outlined in a WARC article with the confusing and contradictory title of “Digital magazines mirror print,” looked at the print and reading habits of almost 7,000 subscribers to several Conde Nast titles.
The confusing part of the article, aside from the title, is the quote from Conde Nast’s Coleride who claimed, “This research debunks for all time the assumption that people read print and digital magazines in different ways, and for different periods of time.”
An odd statement, considering the data shows exactly NOT that. What the survey found was that print readers engaged anywhere from 7-20% longer than readers of the same magazines in digital format.
We can only guess as to Coleride’s motives for making his sweeping statement; perhaps wishful thinking, considering the massive amount of budget share Conde Nast is heaping on their digital division? We don’t know.
We do know that the brain engages differently – more deeply, and with more emotional connection – with print over digital. So again, not surprised, and happy to see some reader stats back up what we know about the engaging power of print.