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  • The Mobile Revolution And What It Means To Magazine Publishers

The Mobile Revolution And What It Means To Magazine Publishers

Published on 10/1/2015 by K Scott

Mobile phones, tablets, eReaders— whatever moniker you ascribe to a hands-free device that uses radio waves to receive and deliver information, they’re here to stay. And with more technology contained in a typical mobile device than NASA (the entire agency, mind you) had circa 1969— when we were sending astronauts to our companion satellite— these devices are being used for much more than phone calls. Texting, internet browsing, scheduling, photography, video conferencing— the list goes on and on.

With the shift from traditional dissemination avenues (i.e., printed material) to predominantly digital efforts, it’s vital for any business wishing to stay in business to adapt to the changes. But what, exactly, does this shift mean to magazines, and why should your publication(s) care?

Why You Should Care
As stated previously, mobile devices are here to stay. So, it behooves you to dive in while the pool isn’t too crowded. While there will always be a need for print, its use and its dissemination is likely going to change from what it was for so long. Sure, it’s always scary when a paradigm shift occurs— especially when it’s something most of us have known as being a certain way for most of our lives— but like the majority of other shifts we encounter, we will adapt and later we will wonder what we were worried about in the first place.

According to
(T)he MPA recently found that 39% of users spent one hour or less reading magazines on their smartphones. That’s good news, all right! But what about tablets? That number is 73%. Now those are tablet statistics to believe in!

That’s a pretty big chunk, and it’s only going to grow. Now is the time to take off your mobile marketing floaties and swim with the big boys and girls in the deep end.

A few other stats to consider:
• 91% of all adults have a smartphone
• Tablet usage will more than double from 21.4 million in 2011 to 44 million in 2015 (
• By 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage
• 20% of consumers are using print magazines less, 25% are using print books less, and 27% are using print newspapers less. (
• Adults spend more time on mobile media than they do on newspapers and magazines combined.
(unless otherwise noted, stats taken from

While we who have grown up with printed material as the predominant medium for which we read published literature are probably in a bit of shock at the rapid transformation from print to digital, the trauma eventually will wear off and we’ll move on to other things. Keep in mind, however, that print will never completely go away (at least in our lifetime); but your business will be a VHS player in a sea of Blu-Rays if you don’t catch the digital wave and take it for a ride.