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Unit 6 The Enterprise Centre
Kelvin Lane, Crawley,
RH10 9PE

5th July 2024

Why Is The Magazine Market Still Important?

Despite questions over its longevity, the magazine market still commands serious attention. Worth a mighty £647m in revenue and selling 243 million copies across almost 40,000 retailers, magazines are a tangible product loved by millions. As a format that’s here to stay, we look into the driving force behind a steady magazine market in our latest in-depth report. Here is a glimpse of what we found. 

Do people still read magazines?

20 million people, or 38% of the UK population still read magazines. This steady, loyal market may have remained flat in the last few years in terms of circulation, but they are still beloved as a media form. As a tactile, immersive, and stress-busting format, they are a taste of the old world that remains entirely relevant in our digital one. As news continues to feel fragmented on digital channels, magazines feel curated, crafted, and trustworthy.  

The market and reading choices

With over 280 active publishers and 95 new titles on sale, the UK market has a positive outlook overall. Research shows that in this country, the market is worth £647m in revenue, and it’s experienced a drop of -6.5% year-on-year. This decline isn’t the full story, however. Factors such as higher cover prices are softening the downward trend as publishers increase cover prices to offset the rise of supply chain costs. 

There does seem to be a link between affluence and magazine readership, although that’s not to say that higher earners are the sole customers. Supermarkets drive most magazine sales, and on the higher end, shops like Waitrose and Marks & Spencer are driving the market for aspirational monthly titles, targeting consumers with more disposable income. Other channels to watch are Specials and Bookazines. Both saw surges in sales as a low-frequency, high-price-point offering.

The consumer 

Supermarkets drive most magazine sales, and Tesco's shoppers account for half of those. Two of the most prominent consumer groups are within an older demographic, at two ends of the affluence scale. To better understand them, we have looked at their behaviours and qualities. The first is the Mature Low Affluent Consumer, accounting for 25.2% of magazine consumers, and Mature High Affluent Consumer, accounting for 26.0% of magazine consumers.

The Mature Low Affluent Consumer is low on time, money and disposable income, but keen to indulge in little pleasures and lovers of bargains. On the side, the more affluent counterparts act as a support role for their family and love to treat themselves. These are the customers who love high-end goods and experiences. 

Tapping into these opportunities 

There are many ways to harness digital with printed media. QR codes to redirect readers to access (paid for) additional information or advice around key topics like the cost of living are great examples, or personalised recommendations are another, which is possible by teaming up with experts in target subjects. The fact that consumers have a high level of trust in magazines and are more likely to trust recommendations from magazines over any other media form makes it an ideal opportunity. 


The magazine market has changed in recent years, but the growth of digital has created loyalty for the printed format in new ways. 

To find out more about the market in-depth, explore our full report now. 

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