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Magazines: Planning & the Reading Day

Magazines: Planning & the Reading Day

We asked Belinda Beeftink from the IPA to take a look at their TouchPoints data and uncover what key consumption factors should be considered when planning  print and digital as the sector evolves.

When we think about how to use magazine channels effectively it is as important to consider when reading occasions occur through the day as it is to understand who is doing the reading.

TouchPoints also allows us to look at when people consume magazines across a typical week and how we are choosing to use magazines – whether in print or digitally according to time of day. It also allows us to look at consumption patterns by sector, which (as you can see in the charts below or in the downloadable deck) can vary significantly.

Weekday Patterns

We see that weekday patterns are very different from weekend patterns and the choice of delivery is also different by day part. During the week magazine reading occasions in print are fairly evenly split between morning and evening, with a lower level of reading in the afternoon. Online consumption of all magazines during the week is heavily skewed towards the morning, however at the weekend the split is much closer to the print readership share.

Magazines by genre

If we consider different magazine genres the picture is different again. For Celebrity magazines print readership is more evenly spread during the week but online reading is very biased towards the morning. At the weekend the print readership tends to happen during the day – less so in the evening, whereas online readership is very much an evening activity.

For Home and Gardening titles during the week, print readership is highest in the evening and the online readership the highest in the morning. At the weekend the reverse is true – with print readership high in the morning and online reading higher in the evening.

Planning Implications

So, we know we consume magazine content differently through the day and switch between print and online. Of course at weekends when we have more leisure time, it affects when and how we choose to read. This should have implications for both editorial and advertising. Just being aware of how the flow of reading moves from print to online and vice versa should make us think about the messages used to reach people, and how content can be tailored to encourage people back to the print copy or from print to online.

There is much more going on which influences our reading occasions – not least where we are, who we are with and what else we are doing. As more channels are used to distribute magazine content, it feels more important than ever to understand the variations in day part and channel preferences for effective planning.