The Magazines of Radio

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The Magazines of Radio

Magazine SpreadRBR (Radio Business Report) recently published a survey conducted to identify the most popular magazines read by listeners of various radio formats.

Pairing popular magazine brands by format gives rich insight to the lifestyles and preferences of each format’s listener base, making it easier for brand marketers to think in terms of the language and hot buttons of each market segment.

In this digital age, it’s also valuable to note that more and more people each week are accessing magazines via computers and mobile devices.  Virtually every major magazine now publishes an Internet version of their magazine, often with bonus and/or interactive content that enhances the reader’s experience.

As a mass market baseline, it’s valuable to look at the overall preferences of the entire adult (18+) population surveyed.  These numbers represent a percentage of the overall sample that reported reading each of the publications.

4.8%   People
2.9%   Time
2.0%   Sports Illustrated
1.6%   Cosmopolitan
1.4%   Game Informer
1.4%   Readers Digest
1.4%   Woman’s Day
1.3%   Good Housekeeping
1.3%   Better Homes and Gardens
1.1%   AARP The Magazine
1.1%   Essence
1.1%   Maxim

ALTERNATIVE RADIO – Mainstream titles disappear from the most popular list, replaced by more active lifestyle titles.  6.3% People, 3.6% Time, 3.6% Game Informer, 2.3% Maxim, 2.0% Sports Illustrated, 1.6% Entertainment Weekly, 1.6% National Geographic, 1.6% Rolling Stone

BLUES – A more eclectic mix for this niche format, with an influx of Urban influence.  4.4% Time, 3.4% People, 2.9% Sports Illustrated, 2.2% Ebony, 2.1% National Geographic, 1.9% Jet, 1.8% Essence, 1.6% Game Informer

CLASSICAL – More substance and less fluff for this group.  (We’ve let the list run longer than the others to illustrate.)  4.9% Time, 4.0% People, 2.3% Readers Digest, 2.2% National Geographic, 2.0% Game Informer, 1.9% Newsweek, 1.7% Sports Illustrated, 1.7% AARP The Magazine, 1.3% The New Yorker, 1.2% The Economist, 1.1% Smithsonian

COUNTRY – Mainstream magazine choices for an All-American audience.  6.6% People, 2.5% Good Housekeeping, 2.4% Readers Digest, 2.4% Woman’s Day, 2.3% Time, 2.2% Better Homes and Gardens, 2.1% Sports Illustrated, 2.1% Cosmopolitan, 1.6% AARP The Magazine

HIP-HOP – Younger titles, including better than a 1.0% showing for US Weekly, Glamour and Seventeen.  6.7% People, 4.2% Cosmopolitan, 3.0% Time, 3.0% Game Informer, 2.8% Essence, 2.2% Maxim, 2.1% Sports Illustrated, 2.1% Ebony, 2.0% ESPN The Magazine, 1.6% Jet, 1.5% Men’s Health

JAZZ – This format shares titles popular with both Classical and Urban preferences.  4.6% Time, 3.6% People, 3.1% Essence, 2.6% Ebony, 2.4% Sports Illustrated, 2.0% Newsweek, 2.0% Jet, 1.8% Game Informer, 1.8% O Magazine

LATIN/HISPANIC – Nine titles fell into the 1.0-1.4 range, including format-high scores for Playboy (1.2) and Vogue (1.0).  8.6% People, 4.6% Cosmopolitan, 3.8% Time, 3.0% Game Informer, 1.9% Maxim, 1.5% US Weekly

NEW AGE – Science and technology cracked the 1.0 barrier (Popular Science and Wired), but not Sports Illustrated, proving 1s and 0s to be more popular than box scores with this group.  5.8% People, 4.4% Time, 3.0% Cosmopolitan, 2.6% Game Informer, 1.8% National Geographic, 1.6% Newsweek, 1.5% O Magazine

NEWS – This high-reach radio format has a diverse list of magazine favorites, consistent with its mass market appeal.  5.1% Time, 4.8% People, 2.2% Sports Illustrated, 2.0% Newsweek, 1.6% Readers Digest, 1.6% AARP The Magazine, 1.5% Good Housekeeping, 1.5% Better Homes and Gardens

OLDIES – The 40+ appeal of this music format is reflected in its listeners’ magazines of choice.  5.2% People, 3.2% Time, 2.3% Woman’s Day, 2.2% Sports Illustrated, 2.2% Readers Digest, 2.2% Better Homes and Gardens, 2.1% AARP The Magazine

RELIGIOUS – Domestic and Urban titles fill the magazine racks of the religious radio listener.  4.2% People, 3.8% Essence, 3.6% Ebony, 2.7% Readers Digest, 2.4% Time, 2.4% Woman’s Day, 2.2% Jet, 1.8% Good Housekeeping, 1.8% Better Homes and Gardens, 1.6% O Magazine

R&B – High scores for Urban titles, consistent with the ethnic audience mix of the R&B format.  5.9% People, 4.4% Essence, 3.7% Ebony, 3.3% Time, 3.3% Cosmopolitan, 2.3% Jet, 2.2% Game Informer, 2.1% Sports Illustrated, 2.1% O Magazine, 1.6% ESPN The Magazine, 1.5% Maxim

ROCK – Lighter, entertainment titles, but surprisingly, only a 1.3 score for Rolling Stone.  5.4% People, 3.1% Time, 3.0 Game Informer, 2.6% Sports Illustrated, 2.4% Cosmopolitan, 2.1% Maxim, 1.5% Entertainment Weekly

SPORTS – Manly titles surge to the top, including a 1.0 score for Golf.  8.6% Sports Illustrated, 4.9% Time, 3.7% ESPN The Magazine, 3.6% People, 2.8% Maxim, 1.7 Game Informer, 1.6% Newsweek, 1.6% Men’s Health

TALK – Preference for the spoken word translates to the printed page, showing these listeners to be voracious consumers of information.  4.3% Time, 4.2% People, 2.7% Sports Illustrated, 1.6% Readers Digest, 1.6% Consumer Reports

TOP 40 – Celebrity entertainment is richly represented with this contemporary hit radio listening audience.  8.2% People, 3.7% Cosmopolitan, 2.6% Time, 2.1% Sports Illustrated, 2.1% Woman’s Day, 2.0% Entertainment Weekly, 1.7% US Weekly, 1.6% Maxim, 1.5% Game Informer

Again, keep in the mind that sample size limits these numbers from being absolute.  Still, there’s enough clarity of preference to help you make the right voice talent casting choice – or use of copy style and slang – that will best resonate with these listeners.

Give us a call or drop us an email to kick around the possibilities!

Mark Lipsky is the President and CEO of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above. Visit our website