When it comes to reading magazines, UK consumers are still selecting print versions over their online equivalents, even though the same information is often available on the web for free.
According to the Deloitte State of the Media Democracy report, 60% of people in the UK prefer reading printed magazines however, this figure has dropped from 73% three years ago. The percentage was higher with women than men.
Subscription figures are healthy for the media industry too, with 29% of consumers continuing to subscribe to printed magazines; the same figure was reported for 2008 and it was 28% in 2009.
The challenge for online subcriptions
Only 2% of respondents said they subscribed to a online magazine, down from 4% last year.
This shows that for the media industry, growing subscribers for digital formats will be tough. This comes in the same week that Apple announced its controversial new digital subscription service and only weeks after Murdoch launched the iPad-only Daily.
As Deloitte media consultant Andrew Haughton says: “Innovative technology gets much of the hype and attention in the media sector, yet magazines continue to provide genuine value to both readers and advertisers.”
“Consumers of all ages enjoy reading printed magazines, with 57% saying magazine adverts were among the three most influential forms of advertising – making magazines the third most popular format behind TV (78%) and newspapers (58%).”
I have no doubt that as the current craze for larger form digital devices such as eBook readers and tablets increases, there will be a greater move towards the digitisation of print media. But it seems, at the moment at least, print is incredibly influential and shouldn’t be ignored.