Magazine print circulation has declined at a fairly consistent pace over the last five years, with a further 7% fall in circulation estimated during 2015. The falling circulation is representative of the overall decline in the print medium, with technology presenting so many alternative forms of entertainment. The print market is set to continue its decline going forward. Mintel forecasts a 31% decline in print circulation over the next five years, reaching a low of 689 million in 2020.
While digital magazines still only represent a small portion of the magazines market, there has been a fairly significant increase in circulation of digital editions, with a 33% increase in circulation in the second half of 2014 alone.
Overall 52% of people have read a print magazine in the last six months, compared to 19% of people who have read a digital magazine. Interest-specific is the magazine sector with the highest penetration (28%), followed by women’s weekly magazines (18%).
In terms of content, there is an increased desire for speed and convenience in our on-demand digital world. Almost a quarter of digital magazine readers wish articles to be kept short, suggesting many people wish to consume their digital magazines in a very different way to how print magazines are traditionally read. This may be a result of the size of mobile device screens and their constant availability.
The fact that less than a quarter of digital readers have actually purchased an individual digital magazine in the last six months suggests far more needs to be done to regularly reach out to consumers, such as through more extensive and targeted social media campaigns.