Printed editions of magazines remain the preferred choice for the majority of readers in the UK, despite the availability of digital content, a recent study suggests.

The statistics, taken from Deloitte's third annual 'State of the Media Democracy' report, found that 60 per cent of respondents said they enjoy flicking through printed copies of magazines.

This represents a drop on results from previous years, with 76 per cent favouring print in 2009 and 73 per cent in 2008.

The report, due to be released in full next month, is based on a survey of more than 2000 UK consumers, carried out by Deloitte and YouGov.

Print magazine subscription figures in the report showed consistent results compared with previous years, with 29 per cent of consumers continuing to subscribe to printed magazines. The same figure was reported for 2008 and just 1 per cent less in 2009.

Deloitte claims that the figures suggest there remains a challenge in turning online readers into subscribers, with only 2 per cent of respondents claiming to subscribe to a online magazine, down from 4 per cent last year.

"Innovative technology gets much of the hype and attention in the media sector, yet magazines continue to provide genuine value to both readers and advertisers," Deloitte media consultant Andrew Haughton said in a release.

"Consumers of all ages enjoy reading printed magazines, with 57 per cent saying magazine adverts were among the three most influential forms of advertising - making magazines the third most popular format behind TV (78 per cent) and newspapers (58 per cent).

"However, both media owners and advertisers have to think very carefully about the opportunities and challenges of innovative technology. The threat of cannibalising existing revenues has to be balanced against new growth areas.  Fundamentally, we are in a period of transition and experimentation, and no-one knows how far that will take us."

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