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14 Reports About Digital Magazine Publishing You Should Bookmark

What your digital magazine competitors read when you’re not looking

We often hear about predictions for digital magazines; how they will grow, the revenue generation expected throughout the industry and the time frames associated with these numbers.

These predictions are important, as they help publishers better prepare for the future. What’s more interesting, however, is discovering how people who are already consuming digital magazines are enjoying their experiences.

Throughout the year we page through several favorite yearly magazine industry and digital publishing research reports. The results in these reports provide a glimpse into the future of digital magazine consumption, usage and other insights that will help you build a better digital magazine.

Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? Download a copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.

If you’re looking to stay ahead of your competitors by following the digital magazine publishing trends like we do, here are some reports to keep your eyes on:

1. Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study

Published bi-annually, this study asks digital magazine subscribers and buyers how they engage with their magazine editions, which features they enjoy most, how much they’re willing to spend, and how publishers can get them to subscribe to more.

2. MPA’s Magazine Media 360 Factbook

The MPA describes the Factbook as “one of the most widely sourced and relied upon tools in our industry.The Factbook features noteworthy research, useful statistics and compelling facts that articulate how magazine media is unique and its effectiveness compared to other media.”

3. MPA’s Magazine Media 360 Social Media Report

Released quarterly, this report for the MPA gives specific metrics and trends in social media specifically for publishers. For example, almost 50% of magazines have their largest social audience on Facebook, whereas Twitter is in second place with less than half that number.

4. MPA’s Magazine Media 360 Online Engagement Report

New for 2019, this quarterly  report seeks to show how engaged subscribers and visitors are with magazine websites. Measurements include loyalty, immersion, intensity and connection.

5. Alliance for Audited Media’s Magazine Snapshot 

Twice a year, the AAM releases a (paid member-only) report detailing the circulation numbers of every magazine that reports in. The resulting information tells publishers how sales and subscriptions are faring – including which magazines are increasing digital magazine subscriptions. That is, any who report their digital circulation numbers. This report is often reported on by the MPA and other industry news sources.

6. IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report

Every year, IAB releases this report on internet advertising. It includes data about Internet advertising revenue from web, email, online services and anyone who sells online advertising. According to IAB, “the results reported are considered the most accurate measurement of Internet/online advertising revenues since the data is compiled directly from information supplied by companies selling advertising online.”

7. Pew’s State of the News Media

Around the end of Q1 every year, an annual report by Pew describes describes their endeavor as “examining the landscape of American journalism.” It encompasses multiple reports covering revenue, digital reporting, acquisitions, media trends like digital video and more for the news industry.

8. CMI’s Content Marketing Report

The Content Marketing Institute releases benchmarks, budgets and trends in two separate annual reports – one for B2B companies and one for B2C. Although this isn’t publisher-specific, their insights apply to all industries.

9. HubSpot’s The State of Inbound

HubSpot says this annual report is “more than survey data,” but it really focuses on what online publishers are doing to drive traffic. Focuses are content, SEO and social media.

10. Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Michael Stelzner’s annual report focuses specifically on social media and the current trends that are launching brands forward or backward. You can see which platforms worthy of expanding into without needing to test them all out for yourself.

11. Moz Google Algorithm Change History

This HTML-based “report” is accessible all year long and is constantly updated with the latest Google Algorithm updates.

12. Google’s The Year In Search

If you want to know which topics and niches grew most during the year, Google’s “Year in Search” covers all of that.

13. SEMPO’s State of Search Marketing Report

This all-inclusive report covers the state of search for both publishers and agencies.

14. eMarketer’s US Ad Spending Report

Every spring, eMarketer releases this report, including many other annual reports on mobile, video and other media.

Over the past two decades, we’ve guided more than 300 niche publishers through the process of transforming themselves from legacy print publishers into multiplatform operations that often dominate their industry niche and generate operating margins that surpass those created by their legacy print business. Learn more about how we can help you apply these strategies to your publishing business by scheduling a FREE consultation today.

Meet Us in Plymouth and Learn
How to Double Your Publishing Revenue

Join other senior publishing executives at the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop—where you’ll learn how to plan, execute, and optimize a profitable magazine-driven membership marketing system. And how to double your publishing revenue!

Secure your registration now, while seats are available and Early-Bird Registration is open.

Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop

May 20-21, 2020
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
Plymouth, Massachusetts

This two-day membership marketing secrets workshop is intense—it’s not for the faint-of-heart, and it’s only for magazine publishing senior executives who have the vision and resources to grow their businesses.

This event is also for curious publishing executives who want the membership marketing secrets for publishers revealed—so that profits, growth, efficiency, and total transformation will power a magazine business that leads the industry and is the envy of competitors and collaborators alike.

You’re familiar with the growth and prominence of the emerging membership economy—you can see it daily as you interact with Amazon, Netflix, or even your local gym. And luckily, magazine publishers can learn a lot from others who have “paved the way” to condition consumers to buy memberships.

This is no fad, it’s a bona-fide trend that you should know about, understand, and latch on to membership marketing secrets for your own business’ purposes.

You should first know what isn’t a secret—having a metered paywall at your website. Yes, thanks to many news-oriented publishers, metered paywalls have become commonplace and are a powerful way to showcase your premium content and convert website visitors into buyers.

But having a metered paywall is not a secret. Who doesn’t know about metered paywalls or already have one for their content?

And simply having a website where you publish content is not the answer to staying competitive these days … let alone blowing your competition out of the water.

For that, you need to attend the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop! You’ll not only learn about the membership marketing secrets, but you’ll also discover all the online publishing myths that often distract or derail many publishers from keeping their eyes on the prize—growth and profits!

When you attend the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop, you’ll be among the publishing industry’s elite—those who are ahead of the trends and will know exactly how to optimize your publishing efforts, based on the latest business intelligence. There will be plenty of time for networking, too, so you can get to know your fellow publishing professionals!

The 7 Membership Marketing Secrets for Magazine Publishers

So that you don’t have to wait until our event, here’s a list of 7 membership marketing secrets:

  1. Web Magazine
  2. Web Magazine Library
  3. Curated Special Collections
  4. Leveraging Existing Content Platforms
  5. Content Previews
  6. Email Marketing Frameworks
  7. Landing and Offer Page Frameworks

And of course, much of the “secret” is not just having a list, but fully understanding what’s behind these secrets and learning what to do about them, so that your own publishing system is in alignment with all these secrets.

When you come to the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop, you’ll learn about all of these in detail—and you’ll learn how to plan, execute, measure, and optimize your very own magazine-driven membership marketing system.

I promise you this now, too—when you register and attend our event, you’ll get 3 bonus membership marketing secrets. And while my colleagues prefer me to hold these bonus secrets back until you register, I can tell you they involve growing your audience, growing customer engagement, and growing revenue.

You’re probably wondering how I can make the claim that you’ll double your revenue when you register for our Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop. Well, Mequoda has been around for more than 15 years—and we’ve helped many magazine publishers over that time, including Prime Publishing, Yankee Magazine and Hearst Magazines … and we’ve counted AAA Northeast and the Biblical Archaeology Society as clients (non-profit membership organizations that both have magazines!).

The Agenda for Discovering the 7 Membership Marketing Secrets for Publishers

You’ll leave this event with a clearer vision and plan for transforming your magazine publishing business. Here is the agenda for the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop:

Wednesday, May 20

  • Creating a New, Successful Membership Product
  • 3 Ways to Build Your Audience Marketing Database
  • Offer- & Price-Testing Strategies for Maximizing Revenue
  • How to Organize and Outsource Your Business Processes

Thursday, May 21

  • Building an Integrated Membership Marketing System
  • 4 Key Metrics for Measuring Your Success
  • Modeling and Budgeting Your Five-Year Plan
  • 3 Bonus Membership Marketing Secrets Revealed

For a full description of all the sessions, click here to download your FREE Program Guide.

This entire membership marketing secrets event will be led by me, Kim Mateus, as Chief Strategy Officer at Mequoda Systems. In 2004, I started with Mequoda as employee #2, and have since overseen strategic planning for many of Mequoda’s publishing partners. Having guided the development of more than 20 subscription and membership marketing systems, my team and I monitor and maintain a robust best-practices database of marketing techniques and business processes that helps power all Mequoda partner marketing programs. My focus on client content strategies is a natural extension of my journalism education and background.

And here is a high-level summary of the entire Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop:

WHO: Besides senior executives like you from magazine publishing companies, the Mequoda Systems team who will join me at this membership marketing secrets event are veteran publishing professionals themselves—you’ll have plenty of time for networking with your fellow publishing executives and with the Mequoda Systems team:

  • Don Nicholas, Chief Executive Officer
  • Bill Dugan, Chief Copywriter
  • Nancy Horan, Chief Systems Officer
  • Eileen Shea, Content Marketing Director
  • Norann Oleson, Analytics Director

WHEN: May 20-21 (it’s NEVER too early to sign up!)

WHERE: Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Plymouth, Massachusetts

For inn room reservations at preferential rates for our attendees, click here or call 833-MIRBEAU (833-647-2328) for room reservations.

WHY: Because the magazine publishing world is fast-changing and keeping up with trends can be a full-time job—this membership marketing secrets event will help you focus on only the key initiatives that will help drive growth for your business.

For a full description of all the sessions, speakers, and the venue for this event, click here to download your FREE Program Guide.

I’d tell you to “mark your calendar” for this event, but if you only do that you might miss out—we only have a limited number of seats for this exclusive event, so sign up right now.

I hope to see you in historic Plymouth, Massachusetts, in May 2020!


Kim Mateus
Chief Strategy Officer, Mequoda Systems
Program Leader, Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop

P.S. If you already know that this event is for you, sign up right now while seats are still available (this is a small event—we really only have space for a few dozen people). Register now for the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop!

P.P.S. Prefer not to wait until 2020 to benefit from all these membership marketing secrets? If you have a sizable team at your organization who should hear all about this, email me at and let’s chat about accelerating the process for you and bringing this membership marketing secrets workshop on-site at your company.

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6 thoughts on “14 Reports About Digital Magazine Publishing You Should Bookmark

  1. Laurie Lacey says:


    Interesting article. The “stats” certainly tend to verify a move to the digital format. I’m not surprised that 48% of people reported reading fewer copies of print magazines.

    I’m a freelance writer and I’m wondering whether anyone knows where I can find information on how digital magazine publishing had effected the freelance writing market? I’m especially interested in knowing whether digital (solely) publications generally have the same scale for articles, as print magazines? To date, I haven’t found any ststs on this, for either Canada or the United States.


  2. Laurie Lacey says:

    Sorry for the typos in my previous post

    I meant to say that I’m looking for information on how digital magazine publishing has effected the freelance writing market? I’m especially interested in knowing whether digital publications are paying freelance writers at a rate comparable to what print magazines pay for articles?


  3. I am interested in any information available about the number of people who download digital magazines/editions for later reading? As a content producer and marketer what I think about customers who have made the choice to read a digital publication are interested in the content but perhaps not interested enough to download the publication for later reading. Is there any data on this next step in reader engagement?

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