“Either-and” publishing

For the last six years Texterity, a digital and mobile solutions provider, has conducted an annual readership survey to (in their words) “better understand reader preferences and consumption patterns across print, digital and mobile platforms.” The 2011 research, whose results were published this fall, used an “in-app” survey to focus for the first time on mobile magazine readers.

Texterity worked with publishers of 25 magazine titles, gathering over 5,000 responses to a variety of demographic and behavioral questions. The magazines that participated in the survey favored business or association publishers (60%), with consumer titles making up the balance.

The sample skewed male (84%) and toward tablet users (61%). Among the key findings:

  • People use their magazine apps an average of five times each month, with half spending a half hour or more on each issue
  • Although the majority of app users also use print and other digital media, 18% are new to the publication and use only the app to access content.
  • Most (81%) app users reported sharing magazine app content using e-mail, social media and word of mouth.
  • Two-thirds of those responding said they interacted with in-app advertising, and 40% claimed they purchased something as a result.
  • Echoing findings reported elsewhere, the majority of app access takes place at home and at night.

Surveys like this consistently underscore that apps are (for the most part) not either-or, but part of a content consumption continuum that includes print, web and app delivery of information. The 18% who are “app-only” may be an exception, or they may also be new readers who have yet to migrate their content consumption to other platforms. Picking one solution likely loses some or much of a potential audience.

Association Media & Publishing reported these findings in the November/December issue of its member publication, Signature. A copy of the full survey results can be obtained by completing a short form on the Texterity site.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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