According to data analysis done by Condé Nast of historical data from the media research company Gfk MRI, some print products have never been more popular among the young. A story published by Audience Development reports some surprising trends in consumer readership.
Some categories -- fashion/beauty, men's, celebrity, health and upscale lifestyle titles -- attract more young readers today than they did 10 or even 20 years ago. Scott McDonald, senior vice president of marketing research for Conde Nast says a higher gross audience can be attributed in part to the simple existence of more magazines in some of the growing categories, such as fashion and beauty.
“There’s always a certain amount of turnover within a category,” says McDonald. “Women’s service magazines are going through the same kind of long term decline as news magazines. There has been some dynamism within the category, though. You have the arrival of new kinds of women service magazines like O, The Oprah Magazine and Real Simple that have been successful, but their growth hasn’t offset the ‘seven sisters,’”(referring to Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, McCall's, Redbook and Woman's Day.)
“It’s fundamentally wrong to say young people don’t read magazines printed on paper,” says McDonald. “In just the basic ink on paper proposition: you’ve had enough growth that’s kept up with the interest of the population; they’re (young people) still reading it. It’s a more complicated story, and if it’s dominated by looking at the decline of Reader’s Digest, TV Guide or the ‘seven sisters,’ then it’s missing the real story of what’s going on.”