UK magazines rank above all other media channels as a source of inspiration, says Magnetic consultant

David Brennan, consultant at Magnetic, presented highlights from the agency’s Rules of Attraction study, which surveyed 15,000 magazine media consumers over two years.

The research was conducted by Crowd DNA and includes mobile diaries, online surveys, video and face-to-face interviews, which highlighted a 28 per cent increase in digital interactions with magazine media year-on-year.

“Insight is key,” said Brennan. “This drives the narrative and success. We need to deliver insight in new and innovative ways to make people think again about their prejudices and preconceptions of “old” media which we should refer to as “legacy” media.

The study’s data supports the following six rules:


Brennan said that magazines are already doing a great job of providing readers with ‘me time’, relaxation and indulgence. “Magazines are doing a great job at providing media mindfulness in people’s busy and distracted lives. A high proportion of readers associate magazines with emotional benefits, e.g. relaxing,” he added.


“Magazines are one of the best representations of personal badging,” said Brennan. The study shows that almost three quarters (71 per cent) of readers claim they would miss their favourite magazine brand if it wasn’t there, despite being offered alternatives.

And magazine readers love to share. Brennan said four out of 10 of readers claim they share magazine content – with digital readers sharing more at 58 per cent. “The desire to share magazine content is big part of the social media experience for many readers,” said Brennan. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular (22 and 18 per cent respectively) and one third follow at least one brand on social.


“Magazines are enhanced by the print brand, and tangibility is so important,” said Brennan. “Readers agree it feels better to hold a physical copy of the magazine, and print continues to be the platform of choice. Readers are absolutely committed to the format,” he added.


“Magazines rank well above all media channels as a source of inspiration,” said Brennan. They have functional benefits and the study shows they are educational, useful and thought provoking.


Brennan said there are three drivers of magazine influence: Information, inspiration and action. They influence by giving inspiration, sparking ideas and being functional. The data shows that nine out of 10 readers look at ads, and half talk about them to friends and family.


“Digital is changing the magazine experience by providing access to content anytime, anywhere, and with great speed,” said Brennan. “Digital fills in the gaps between print editions, offers personalisation and a fast route to content readers are most interested in in this most personal of media.”

Respondents said access, speed and personalisation are key, and all add to brands’ growth. Digital creates “super users” across all platforms, said Brennan, who are even more engaged. “But loyalty to magazines remains solid.”

“This is the narrative on why magazine media should continue to play an important role in current readers’ lives, and an increasingly important role in new readers’ lives,” concluded Brennan. 

Download David Brennan’s slides here.

Story by Amy Duffin.

More about Magnetic.

About the FIPP Insight Forum

The FIPP Insight Forum (formerly known as the Research Forum) is a two-day event for publishers, researchers and marketing executives in the magazine business. It’s taking place today and tomorrow at the offices of Sanoma in Amsterdam.

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