Fall MRI Shows Audience Gain; ‘More’ Gets Richer

In an otherwise dismal time for magazines, today was a happy day at Meredith Corp.’s More, which showed a 23.8 percent year-over-year jump in the closely watched metric of reader household income.

Among female readers, More’s household income stood at $103,372 in Mediamark Research & Intelligence’s fall magazine audience report, versus $83,503 in the fall 2007 report.

The lifestyle title for women aged 40-plus also saw an uptick in audience of 19 percent to 1.6 million. During the same period, its circulation grew 6.3 percent to 1.3 million.

While MRI’s methodology is often criticized as being less reliable for titles like More that have a relatively small audience, the hefty increase in household income could give it an edge with advertisers seeking to reach affluent women.

Among other women’s titles, several mass fashion and service magazines posted year-over-year gains in women readers’ household income, including Condé Nast’s Glamour, Meredith’s Better Homes and Hearst Magazines’ Good Housekeeping.

Lighter in the purse versus a year ago are readers of Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar and Condé Nast’s Vogue and Lucky.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad showing for the magazine industry, with total readership up 3.2 percent from fall 2007 to fall ’08, with 131 of the 216 measured titles posting audience gains, per MRI.