Magazine Subscribers Still Attracted to Print, Poll

Amid print media’s many struggles, polling by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council finds people who subscribe to magazines are loyal to the medium, and in no hurry to ditch print magazines in favor of online versions.

And these people are scarcely technophobes, though, as many of them say magazine ads lead them to advertisers’ Web sites.

Conducted in March and April among adults who subscribe to at least one magazine, the poll found 92 percent of respondents saying they receive print editions of magazines to which they subscribe. Nearly as many, 90 percent, said print is the format they prefer. Just 24 percent 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 percent 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 percent, 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 percent agreed that they “receive a steady relevant contact and information from the publisher, via multiple channels,” 57 percent chose the contrary statement, “No, the only personalized information my subscription publication uses is my address.”

And while some publishers may feel they spend an ungodly amount of money on researching their readers, 70 percent 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 percent said they’d “be more inclined to resubscribe to a publication that has tailored its content and information to your personal preferences.”