Saturday, June 21, 2008

Magazines Enjoying Renaissance With Young Adults

Sorry to be posting Saturday's post on Sunday, but yesterday was a long day.

I got up at four in the morning, caught a 6:50 AM American flight from D/FW to St. Louis, did a talk for the St. Louis RWA chapter and then caught a 3:50 flight back to D/FW. I was a pretty tired camper by the time I got home. I stopped at Steak and Shake for a burger and onion rings, came home and tumbled into bed.

The St. Louis chapter was filled with knowledgeable writers who were very kind and welcoming. I'm especially grateful to Barbara Scott, who took such good care of me.

Advertising Age had a very interesting article a couple of weeks ago. Titled "Magazines Find Surprise Stash of New Readers," it argued:
. . . magazine audiences are getting bigger and often younger too, according to a Mediaedge:cia analysis of last month's benchmark spring MRI research report . . .

"For every magazine that is aging, there are magazines that are trending younger--and are gaining new readers at the same time," the Mediaedge analysis found.

Look across a longer period of time, and the trends take on new clarity.

Allure magazine's median reader age has fallen 1.1 years to 29.1 from 30.2 since the spring 2004 MRI report, while the size of its audience grew 67%. Wired saw its median age fall to 34.6 from 37 in the same span as its audience increased 47%.

While the article was only about adult readers, it indicated that the youngest adult magazine readership was the one growing the fastest. Nat Ives, the author, speculated that this is because (1) The magazines are doing a better job of public placement distribution in physicians' offices, beauty salons and cafes; and (2) Digital media is creating new opportunities for print media. For example, online gamers love to read magazines about gaming.

I'm willing to bet it's also because the shorter magazine articles suit our need for quick and easy reads in a culture in which we have so many demands upon our valuable time.

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