A UK survey on digital magazine readership has found that half of the respondents now read digital titles.
The research, released by digital magazine platform lekiosk was commissioned through OnePoll for its 2013 'Zines on Screens project, interviewing 2,000 consumers across the UK on their reading and purchasing habits.
Last year, a study commissioned by lekiosk, and carried out by YouGov, found a third of the UK respondents read digital magazines, compared to the 53 per cent who indicated the same this year.
The latest report added that 19 per cent of the 2,000 respondents read magazines on tablet computers, an increase from roughly five per cent in 2012. For other digital platforms the study found that 20 per cent read magazines via desktop computer, 12 per cent on smartphones and seven per cent on e-readers. The results also showed that 72 per cent of respondents read in print.
"More and more people are evolving into digital reading and digital magazines and this is mainly due to the extension of the tablet market," said Nathaniel Phillipe, co-founder of lekiosk, speaking to Journalism.co.uk. "It's the natural device for reading magazines or news online and when you have a tablet content is king."
Digital magazine purchases increased more prominently among the younger demographic, with 10 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds buying more digital magazines than they were a year ago, compared to only five per cent of the rest of the population.
The research also found that, in terms of what respondents wanted from their digital publication, 38 per cent would like to read an exact replica of the print edition, 18 per cent wanted more videos and 15 per cent wanted to share more videos.
"Readers are more comfortable with the print replica because this is what they know," continued Phillipe, "this is what they're used to consuming, this is what they're used to reading and there is more loyalty, more confidence in this product."
Of the remainder, 12 per cent would like advertisements that were more "click and buy" oriented, while content with augmented reality and integrated music was favourable for nine and eight percent of respondents respectively.
Phillipe said that this demand for interactivity and social elements would play a key role in the future. As such, he said, magazine publishers and publishing platforms like lekiosk should work together to find a uniform way of providing readers with these elements across all their publications.
"We have to be able to distribute this new content and at lekiosk we want to build the interactivity ourselves around the magazine, around the experience," he said, "which means socialisation, personalisation, recommendation.
"We have lots of features coming up in the near future with the word social. I cannot reveal everything but we believe that building a more social experience around reading magazines, making it more personalised and intimate while creating a deeper relationship with the customer is the right path for the company."
In other purchasing habits, 14 per cent of respondents who buy magazines for tablets only buy single issues, while six per cent have paid for a subscription for their favourite publication. The "single issue" model appeared to be most attractive, appealing to just over a third of respondents, with purchasing a "bundle" of titles or subscribing to magazines in a "buy-one-get-one-free" package appealing to around 20 percent each.
The research also suggested that there was a lack of information regarding digital magazine publishing, as many respondents who did not purchase digital magazines in any form did so because they believed it would be more expensive than print and have a different layout.
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