Magazines with the most mobile traffic have great mobile magazine websites and social-friendly content
The Association of Magazine Media recently stated that on average, magazine websites are getting 26% of their traffic from mobile. According to AdWeek, “The MPA’s monthly Magazine Media 360° report dissected publishers’ online traffic in July and compared it with traffic from a year earlier…In July, mobile represented 26 percent of magazines’ audience mix—a measure of readers across print, digital subscription, desktop, mobile and video—a jump from 18 percent in July 2014. Desktop accounted for 15 percent of magazines’ audiences, down from 16 percent in 2014. Not surprisingly, print and digital subscriptions took the biggest hit. Subscribers made up 57 percent of publishers’ audiences in July 2015, down from 64 percent in 2014.”
AdWeek notes that for some publishers, mobile is a huge deal. “Mobile Web traffic made up almost half of ESPN’s total audience of 89.6 million…For People, smartphone and tablet traffic represented about a third of its total.”
These are the magazine websites with the highest mobile traffic:
1. ESPN: 42.9 million
2. People: 28 million
3. AllRecipes: 24.5 million
4. Forbes: 21.6 million
5. Time: 18.1 million
6. Entertainment Weekly: 14.3 million
7. Cosmopolitan: 13.7 million
8. Bloomberg Businessweek: 11.2 million
9. New York: 9.8 million
10. Bon Appétit and Epicurious: 8.3 million
I think we can agree it’s no surprise that magazines in the niches of sports, celebrity gossip and recipes top the list of sites with mobile traffic. They are some of the most commonly shared niche content on social networks, and social networks send a substantial amount of mobile traffic to publishers. However, having mobile-friendly websites have also clearly been a priority for these publishers.
In terms of growth, a handful of magazine publishers saw tremendous growth in mobile traffic.
- Town & Country: 559%
- Playboy: 416%
- Latina: 416%
- Fortune: 353%
- National Enquirer: 265%
- W: 249%
By looking at TownandCountrymag.com, you can easily see that they have updated to a mobile-friendly and responsive design. As for Playboy, in 2015 they said they would no longer publish full nude photos in their magazine, which was part of a whole multi-platform content strategy that may have actually improved mobile growth. An article from The Times noted, “Although the change represents a major shift for the magazine, it is also the latest step away from full nudity, which was banned from Playboy’s website in August 2014. That helped make the site safer for work and public places, and enabled Playboy to get onto Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.” Since a huge amount of mobile traffic comes from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, this could be the reason for their mobile uptick.