Following a year in which most of the US population experienced limitations on their freedom to leave home or go to work, the comprehensive new report shows that Americans of all ages read magazines – but younger adults even more so. Some 88 per cent of adults overall have read a print, digital or both versions of a magazine in the last six months, but the figure is even higher – at 90 per cent – for both under-35s and under-25s, demonstrating the reach and appeal of magazine content.
Print’s pull remains strong
The report also shows that a clear majority of younger adults, like adults of all ages surveyed, respond positively to print editions, with 64 per cent of 18-34 year olds saying that they love the touch and feel of a printed magazine. That percentage rises to nearly three quarters (73 per cent) among the overall adult population.
“When I’m reading a print magazine … my attention is always focused on that article or picture,” said one millennial respondent. “It stimulates the brain – gets it moving and working. When I’m reading online, my eyes are wandering and I’m not paying attention … Reading a print magazine is different. Honestly, I feel smarter because I always finish what I start.”
Younger users trust magazine brands on social media
The Factbook also reveals that younger magazine readers are more likely to interact with magazines’ social assets. Those aged between 18-34 report that they like to follow their favourite magazines across social platforms, more likely to buy something they see in magazines’ social posts as opposed to other posts, and trust magazines’ social media posts more than others’. Younger readers are especially likely to be drawn in by magazines’ video content.
Young female readers reading more
Readers across the board report engaging more deeply with magazines during the pandemic, and the 2021 Factbook also found that millennial women (aged 25-40) especially turned to magazines in 2020. Some 33 per cent of this age group reported that they were spending more time reading magazines, while those figures were 36 per cent for Gen-X women and 33 per cent for boomer women. This backs up an overall shift in which, for a certain proportion of the US population under lockdown, time stuck at home translated to increased reading time.
Young readers’ spending
Magazine readers aged 18-34 also showed an uptick in spending across the board compared to all adults, but particularly in the categories of fine jewellery (with an index of 117), men’s health and beauty aids (114), women’s perfume/cologne (113) and children’s toys and games (112). As the Factbook reports, this reflects a wider focus in this age group on apparel, health and beauty, parenting and technology in the past 12 months.
For 100+ pages of the latest stats, insights and analysis about the magazine media industry, download your copy of the full MPA Media Factbook 2021 here.