Solid News on Audience Growth from the MPA

MPA_Logo_NOTAG-300x239Magazines generate more social engagement than TV, radio, online media and newspapers, and their audience continues to grow.

According to the latest reports from the Association of Magazine Media (MPA), magazine brands are enjoying growing audiences and wider reach this year.

“The [MPA] report for March revealed the average audience for magazine brands grew to almost 1.9 billion as of March 31, 2016, a 7.6% increase year-over-year,” writes Sara Guaglione in Publishers Daily.

“In the first-quarter reports, ESPN The Magazine came out on top as the brand with the largest audience and Esquire experienced the most growth,” she continues.

The MPA’s accounting, which takes into account not just print sales but also digital exposure, helps brands understand reach and engagement across channels. And what they are seeing is encouraging, revealing that “Likes and Followers total 900 million for the industry, up 4% over last quarter,” Guaglione reports.

It’s more evidence that the consumer relationship with magazines continues to thrive, even in an age of nearly limitless sources of content. We believe one reason is the way magazine content encourages the art of lingering, so welcome in this content-saturated world.

“The top 10 magazines reach nearly double the audience of the top 10 TV shows. According to data from Shareablee, magazines generate more social engagement than TV, radio, online media and newspapers,” she notes.

To the skeptics that decry the fall of the magazine industry, we would encourage a closer look at this report. Yes, media brands are now multi-channel publishers for the most part – although there are some brilliant exceptions like Monocle that eschew social marketing: They’ve built their brand success in print, radio, and brick and mortar.

Magazines themselves are getting savvier at finding and engaging their niches, and successes like Modern Farmer and Kinfolk convincingly demonstrate how magazines are shifting from that mass marketing mentality to reaching the right tribe.

“Magazine media produces more social actions than any other medium,” added Linda Thomas Brooks, head of MPA. “That demonstrates just how engaged consumers are with these brands on platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”