Magazine subscribers like print as it is, poll shows

Amid print media’s many struggles, a recent poll conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council finds that people who subscribe to magazines are loyal to the medium, and in no hurry to ditch print magazines in favor of online versions, as MediaWeek recently reported.  And these subscribers are by no means technophobes it appears.  Also, many of them responded that magazine ads have often led them to check out advertisers’ websites in the past. 

Conducted back in March and April among adults who subscribe to at least one magazine, the CMO Council poll found 92% of respondents saying they receive print editions of magazines to which they subscribe. Nearly as many, 90%, said print is the format they prefer. Just 24% said they expect eventually to switch to an e-reader for their magazine consumption.  Indicating the role print publications now play in steering people to the Internet, though, 48% of respondents answered affirmatively when asked whether they “go online to find more information about the advertisements in your printed magazines.” A somewhat larger number of them, 63%, said they’d do so “if the advertising in your printed subscription magazines was customized.”

For all their engagement with magazines, subscribers don’t necessarily feel magazines requite their interest. One question in the survey asked respondents for an indication of whether their favorite magazine “knows you well as a subscriber.” While 43% agreed that they “receive a steady relevant contact and information from the publisher, via multiple channels,” 57% chose the contrary statement, “No, the only personalized information my subscription publication uses is my address.”

And while some publishers probably feel like they are spending too much money on readership surveys, 70% of respondents said they have never “been surveyed about the content you want to read in your favorite magazine.” That’s a pity, as 78% said they would “be more inclined to resubscribe to a publication that has tailored its content and information to your personal preferences.”


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