The tech-savvy, young generation of millennials is often assumed to only be interested in digital forms of media. This is a major misconception, according to a new study by Condé Nast, which shows that print magazine readership among millennials has reached its highest level in decades. Adweek.com reported on how print magazines still matter to millennials.
The Condé Nast study used data from the GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer to compare the readership of specific magazines by different age groups at the time intervals of 1991, 2001 and 2011. The findings revealed that the 18-to-24 age demographic was actually reading more print magazines in certain categories than ever.
The largest growth has been seen for the celebrity magazine category, which has more than doubled its audience of young readers. Interestingly, the fashion and beauty magazine category drew nearly 50 percent more young readers than it did 10 years ago. This is especially intriguing because women traditionally outgrew these magazines as they got older, but now this audience seems to continue reading them well past their 20s. The young male market has contributed to the growth of men’s magazines, most notably men’s fitness magazines such as Men’s Health.
Still, some magazine categories have suffered the signs of the times. Women’s service magazines have borne the brunt of changing cultural roles and increased education for women. Their focus on traditional homemaking is no longer relevant to any age group, especially the modern mindset of the 18-to-24-year-old millennial audience. Weekly news magazines have also lost half of their readership over the last 20 years as more and more people have made the Internet their primary source for news. Surprisingly, business magazines have eluded the dismal fate of news magazines, perhaps because they offer more in-depth or expert coverage than the Web.
Despite talk of their impending obsolescence, print magazines appear to have maintained their allure with the younger generation as millennials continue to challenge conventional thinking.
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