Print is Not Dead

Print is a huge media powerhouse. It may surprise you, but print media is still more popular among U.S. adults than cellphones, tablets, or smart TVs for getting news. Yep. You read that right.

In fact, people who seek out news and information claim that they do not have a preference for their media vehicle, print or digital, people will use both. Here are some (true) encouraging facts about the marketing gold mine of print magazines.

According to a survey conducted by Freeport Press, 25 percent of respondents read five or more print magazines in the past month, and all respondents subscribe to an average of two magazines each. Print magazines, not digital. The survey also found that magazine readers engage significantly longer with print publications than digital ones. Think about it, how long do you sit and leaf through your copy of The Week, The New Yorker or Your Esquire versus the time you spend reading digital content online.

Let’s put this another way, 91 percent of all U.S. adults read magazines. Even better, 94 percent of U.S. adults under 35 and 96 percent of U.S. adults under 25 read magazines! So many companies stress about how to reach their younger demographics. Stress no more. You’re welcome.

These two graphs (below) illustrate the revenue generated from selling print magazines versus digital magazines and the number of magazines published in the U.S. based on year, respectively.

Digital’s revenue has been rising steadily, but it still is dwarfed in comparison to the revenue generated by print magazines. At the same time, the number of magazine publications in the U.S. is increasing rather than decreasing, which is interesting considering that circulation revenue is decreasing.

This suggests that while the future profitability of selling a magazine publication is questionable, the future readership is growing.

Consumer magazine circulation revenue in North America from 2008 to 2016, by platform (in million U.S. dollars)


Number of magazines in the United States from 2002 to 2015


So now you have the facts. What do you do with the awesome potential of magazines?

Ideally, you should refer to your target customer personas to determine the right publications for each market. Then create a plan for each of your target demographics—segment accordingly, otherwise, your communications to your target audience will seem disingenuous and off-mark.

This sort of segmenting, targeting, and message communication all fits into your integrated marketing communications plan. Every tactic within this strategic plan is designed around a cohesive message that is ultimately focused on creating a relationship with your customers and prospects.

Relationships lead to trust. Trust leads to revenue. And revenue is sexy.

So don’t let the latest social media headline about how print media is dying persuade you. It is still very much alive, and your audience is reading it.

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