Digital magazines on the rise: Half of Brits now reading 'zines on screens


More than 1 in 2 Brits have bought and read digital magazines, up from 1 in 3 in 2012 – this according to new research released today by lekiosk.

The digital magazine platform commissioned OnePoll to survey 2,000 consumers nationwide, and also found that almost 1 in 5 of us (19 per cent) now consume magazines on tablet computers – in 2012 only 1 in 20 of us was doing so.

lekiosk quizzed consumers on their digital magazine purchasing habits for its 2013 ‘Zines on Screens project and found that 1 in 20 Brits are buying more digital magazines now than they were a year ago - a proportion that rises to 1 in 10 amongst 18-24 year olds. 14 per cent of Brits consuming magazines on tablets do so on a single issue basis, while 6%, or more than 1 in 20, have now taken out subscriptions to their favourite digital magazines. Overall, the research suggests that, when it comes to buying digital magazines, the single issue model appeals to just over a third of Brits, while purchasing a monthly ‘bundle’ of magazines (like those offered by lekiosk) appeals to 17 per cent of Brits; 1 in 5 Brits is most likely to subscribe to a digital magazine on a buy-one-get-one-free basis.

lekiosk also polled Brits on potential improvements to digital magazine formats and discovered that more than 1 in 10 Brits would like adverts in digital magazines to be interactive (i.e. allowing them to click and buy directly while reading). Almost a fifth of Brits would like it if digital magazines contained more video content, while 15 per cent care about having the ability to share digital magazine articles with friends. Overall, though, a whopping 40 per cent of Brits prefer to consumer digital magazines that are ‘exact replicas’ of their print counterparts.

Nathaniel Philippe, one of the founders of lekiosk, commented: “When it comes to reading magazines, the future is digital – and the hardware that’s taking us into that future is the tablet. Crucially, the magazine publishers that reap the biggest rewards from the digital magazine reading revolution will be those that innovate on the traditional magazine subscription model – and on the existing digital magazine format. It’s clear from our research that a high proportion of British consumers want reading a digital magazine to feel like reading a print magazine, albeit with certain added, interactive features – like adverts they can click on and videos they can watch. Publishers need to start working on these new formats now: the UK’s love affair with the magazine is as alive as ever – but digital magazines have never been as much a part of that as they are now.”

Magazines on the loo

lekiosk also asked Brits to spill the beans on where they consume digital magazines, and found that 1 in 20 Brits do so while on the toilet (survey responses suggest that men are twice as likely as women to be caught reading a digital magazine on the loo). A fifth of Brits read digital magazines on modes of transport according to the ‘Zines on Screens research, with the majority doing so in their living rooms (36 per cent) and bedrooms (22 per cent).

Finally, lekiosk found that universal access to digital magazines is likely to be helping a number of publications find audiences outside of their home markets: almost 1 in 10 Brits is already reading a digital magazine produced outside of the UK, while almost a third of Brits would like to do so. British men are twice as likely as British women to be interested in reading a magazine produced abroad.

“Digital magazines are easily exported across borders and continents” Philippe added, “and we’ve seen quite a few users from countries where we don’t source magazines download our apps to get access to the magazines from the countries where we are working with publishers. We’re seeing the start of a trend which could see the digitisation of magazine content drive the globalisation of a wide range of magazines.”

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