Mequoda’s latest Magazine Reader Study shows print magazine consumption down 2% year over year, with digital magazine readership up nearly 14%

Consumers are reading 2% fewer print magazine issues, while the number of American adults reading digital magazine issues is up nearly 14%

September 1, 2016 – BOSTON — The 2016 Mequoda American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook, conducted in Q2 2016, one year after their 2015 study, polled 3,241 US adults with Internet access. The study found that  the number of US adults reading digital magazines has increased 13.8% from 2015, with nearly 42% of US adults reporting having read one or more digital magazine issues in the last 30 days.

Mequoda also discovered a dramatic increase in digital magazine spending over 2015, with 23.51% reported spending money on digital magazine subscriptions and single copies in 2016, representing a total of $1.94 billion. This is up from 15.10% of US adults last year reporting spending money on digital magazine subscriptions and single copies, representing a total of $1.27 billion.

These are just some of the conclusions drawn from the study, available for free download here:

Mequoda, America’s leading niche magazine consulting firm, has been at the forefront in researching, documenting and understanding best practices for digital magazines since the company’s inception in 2004.

In 2016, Mequoda set out to understand how the demographics of a multiplatform consumer (one who reported consuming both print and digital magazines) differed from digital only readers and print only readers. “We set out to learn as much as we can about digital magazine consumers each year, to discover how consumption, preferences and spending habits are growing and evolving,” says the company’s Founder & Chairman Don Nicholas.

Market study highlights

  • Nearly 60% of multiplatform magazine consumers say their digital edition is most important to them.

  • Multiplatform magazine consumers increased 32% year over year.

  • Digital-only consumers are getting older and wealthier – average age of the digital-only consumer increased 20% from 34 years old in 2015 to 41 in 2016, while the average household income increased 15% from $68K to $79K.

  • Multiplatform magazine consumers are 1.67 times more likely to spend $100 per year on digital magazines than digital only consumers and have increased their digital spending by 52.7% year over year.

  • Multiplatform magazine consumers and digital-only consumers were 1.09 times more likely to be male, while print only consumers were 1.76 times more likely to be female.

Digital publishing best practices

Mequoda has attached to the back half of the downloadable report dozens of digital magazine publishing best practices. There are 11 chapters that include case studies for putting publishers on a path to creating a digital magazine strategy that can enlighten readers and help multiplatform companies grow and profit. In the study and handbook, readers will find definitions and examples of all the various digital edition types that exist, along with pros and cons for each. Mequoda provides both mass and niche media examples for readers of the study and handbook to analyze and compare.

There are tips for creating the most coveted digital magazine editions and step-by-step processes for launching a digital magazine, along with dos and don’ts for designing, pricing, producing and selling digital magazines.

Multiplatform magazine strategic planning

As an added bonus, the study and handbook includes a Multiplatform Magazine Strategic Planning Framework (SPF) that outlines all the factors a publisher must consider when planning a digital magazine.

These factors include everything from the different types of editions planned to software licensing costs for an app edition, to available advertising inventory per year to pricing, and from the number of email subscribers a publisher has to the percentage of renewals a publisher earns from tablet, print, web and combination offers.

Results from this study will be used to update the company’s best practices for its clients, and to train publishers at its quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive events.

You can download this study here:


For questions about Mequoda and the 2016 Mequoda American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook, please contact Mequoda’s EVP Kim Mateus, 774.201.1301.


Mequoda is America’s leading niche magazine consulting firm. Our growing clients dominate their niches using our proprietary strategic, marketing and analytic systems. Mequoda’s Haven Nexus System™ enables our clients with a state of the art marketing and publishing platform at an affordable price. Our clients routinely use the Mequoda Method to double or even triple their revenues in five years or less.



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