Tablet/e-reader ownership boosts magazine reading and consumers are engaged with the digital editions, according to “The Magazine Mobile Reader,” a new study by the MPA — The Association of Magazine Media (

It’s the first study to exclusively examine the attitudes and behaviors of a select group of consumers: tablet and e-reader owners who read app-based magazines on those devices. For the study, Affinity pre-screened 75,000 magazine consumers (adults 18+) for ownership of tablet and e-reader devices as well as use of magazine-branded apps. The survey netted a total of 1,009 mobile magazine readers who completed the online questionnaire.

“With market penetration of both mobile devices and digital magazines finally hitting their stride, we felt that now is the perfect time to conduct this research — a  study that we couldn’t have executed credibly a year ago with such a small pool of potential respondents,” says Wayne Eadie, senior vice president of research, MPA.  “The timing allows us to establish what we hope will be a yardstick for future studies, to chart the swells and ebbs of mobile magazine usage and consumer behavior.”

The majority of respondents (90%) in the MPA study said that since acquiring their mobile device, they are consuming just as much — if not more — magazine content; 66% plan to consume more digital magazines; and 63% want even more magazine content in digital form. Consumers (55%) like to read digital back issues of titles; 83% are interested in archiving an article or an entire issue; and 86% want to be able to share issues or articles.

The study also reveals consumer preferences in terms of app discovery, content architecture and interactive elements. Most respondents want more electronic newsstands (76%) as well as the ability to easily find specific titles to download (79%).  Consumers (82%) are even interested in including a gift card pre-loaded with a digital magazine subscription when giving a mobile device as a gift this holiday season.  Regarding the digital reading experience, a strong majority (89%) would prefer that all titles offered the same functions and navigation scheme.  In addition, 70% want videos in digital editions to run less than a minute.

Significant to both publishers and advertisers, mobile commerce is a key point of interest to digital magazine consumers: 59% want the ability to buy directly from ads, while 70% stated that they want to be able to purchase products and services directly from editorial features.  At this point, most of the respondents (73%) typically engage with digital magazine ads.

“Digital magazines are taking the medium to the next level,” says Christopher Kevorkian, executive vice president, digital, MPA. “While various research has long proved that print magazines drive purchase behavior, digital magazines hold the promise of creating a direct link between purchase intent and actual transaction.  The study proves that consumers look to magazine media to create that opportunity.”