US Magazine Media Audiences Inched Up Last Year

February 20, 2018

Total magazine media audiences – measured across online and offline channels – climbed by 1.4% year-over-year in 2017, exceeding 1.8 billion in the aggregate, according to a recent MPA report. The growth rate represents a slowdown from 2016, when total magazine media audiences across platforms grew by 6.4%.

Magazine brands’ video audiences showed the fastest growth last year, of 35.9%, though that again was slower than in 2016 (49.7%). Interestingly, mobile web audiences remained flat (+0.2%) after an increase of 24.9% a year earlier.

By contrast, magazine brands’ print and digital editions saw brighter fortunes in 2017, with a 3.3% increase in audiences. That comes after a 0.4% decline the prior year.

Print and digital editions make up the majority (51%) of magazine brands’ average audience, followed by the mobile web (32%). The web (desktop, laptop), with its 10.6% decline in audience, now constitutes just 12% of the total magazine audience.

Top Magazine Brands

The top 5 magazine brands in terms of overall cross-platform audience for 2017 were:

  • ESPN The Magazine (102.2 million);
  • People (79.7 million);
  • Forbes (68.2 million);
  • WebMD Magazine (59.5 million); and
  • Allrecipes (54.1 million).

While ESPN led across the web (desktop/laptop), mobile web, and video, People had the highest average monthly print+digital audience, followed by AARP.

Fastest-Growing Magazine Brands

The top 5 magazine brands in terms of audience growth for 2017 were:

  • Entrepreneur (+39%);
  • Town & Country (+34.4%);
  • Popular Science (+24.5%);
  • W (+23.6%); and
  • Veranda (+22.1%).

Entrepreneur’s spot at the top was largely a result of its growth in unique video viewers, which stood at an impressive 1,516%.

Wired had the biggest increase in monthly print+digital audience, of 28%.

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