New PPA research discovers the seven personas of today’s magazine buyers

By : PPA Communications

A new report from the PPA has mapped out the seven personas of today’s magazine buyers, as part of a detailed investigation into the consumption of magazine media content.

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The research, Reimagining the Magazine Subscription, was carried out in association with subscription services company Dovetail, and explores how consumer attitudes to the magazine subscription are changing in a market where recurring revenue models (RRM) are being used by an increasing range of sectors and companies, with examples including Netflix and Amazon.

The findings are based on a 2,000-respondent survey of magazine buyers and readers conducted by YouGov as well as focus group research and analysis of subscriber data.

They show that, while growth continues across a range of channels, print remains the dominant platform for magazine content. A total of 69% of magazine buyers exclusively access content in print, which the report breaks down into four personas: Print Zealots (19%), Print Conservatives (15%), Print Flexers (17%), and Print Dabblers (18%).

The remaining 31% of magazine buyers access content through digital channels, and this segment is broken down into three personas: Digital Enhancers (21%), Digital Experimenters (8%), and Digital Radicals (2%), who do not use print at all.


Magazine personas


Nicola Rowe, Director of Membership and Circulation at the PPA, said: “This new report gives PPA members a wealth of valuable detail on the ongoing and rapid shifts in the way consumers are engaging with magazine content.

"Activity on digital channels continues to grow and, as it does, there is more urgency for publishers to join the dots in the purchasing process, both across platforms and across purchasing routes - particularly as newer services based on recurring revenue models have recalibrated consumer expectation around marketing, pricing and levels of customer service.”

Report author Jim Bilton of Wessenden Marketing said: “This whole project underlines the fact that the ‘average magazine reader’ no longer exists. Instead, there are differentiated pockets of consumers with very different mindsets and purchasing patterns. It is critical for magazine media companies to know who they are and how influential they should be in determining the direction in which a magazine brand should be headed.”

Gill Lambert, Client Services Director of Dovetail Services, said: “The publication of this report is incredibly timely for companies in magazine media. Changing behaviours, particularly of younger demographic groups, demand that we reimagine the subscription offering and grasp the opportunity to build on the already strong connection between audiences and magazine content.”

Reimagining the Magazine Subscription: Buying Magazines in an Amazon World was commissioned by the PPA, in association with Dovetail, and produced by Wessenden Marketing. It is based on a 2,000-respondent survey of magazine buyers carried out by YouGov; a series of seven online and face-to-face focus groups undertaken by Grimwood Associates and Wessenden Marketing; and analysis of current research, including Dovetail’s 145,000-respondent Subscriber Service Survey.

For further information and to request a copy of the report, contact Nicola Rowe by email.

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