For all the talk about tablet and e-reader adoption, smartphones are still one of the ways magazines are reaching sizeable numbers of readers, and in some cases exceeding their print circulation.
About one-third of smartphone owners, or 29 million, use their mobiles to access magazine content, and of 170 measured magazine brands, 19 consistently reach more than 1 million users a month, according to Affinity’s American Magazine Study. By comparison, one in five tablet or e-reader users, or about 10 million, are using those devices to read magazine content.
Topping the list of magazine mobile audiences is ESPN The Magazine, with just over 5 million monthly users, more than double its print circulation. People comes in second with about 4 million users, slightly more than its 3.6-million print circ. Rounding out the top 5 are WebMD the Magazine (3.8 million), Sports Illustrated (3.5 million) and TV Guide (3 million).
In the case of TV Guide, the audience number could reflect any content from the brand that the consumer accesses using a smartphone, despite the fact that the magazine and its eponymous website and mobile apps have different owners.
The shift in time spent on mobile devices is bolstered by new estimates from eMarketer, which showed that for the first time, people are spending more time with mobile devices than with newspapers and magazines in their printed form. Average time spent with printed newspapers and magazines is 44 minutes per day, down from 63 minutes in 2008. Meanwhile, time spent on mobile devices has more than doubled, to 65 minutes per day from 32 in 2008.
Time spent online also increased, as did watching TV, live or recorded, despite talk of cord-cutting, per eMarketer.