Magazine-media brands had 220 million new “likes/followers” across the five top social networks, according to the Magazine Media 360º Social Media Report, released Friday by the MPA. The numbers represent an increase of 38 percent over 2014.
The social media report came just a day after MPA’s first ever full-year Magazine Media 360° Brand Audience Report, which showed that the average audience for magazine brands grew 7.1 percent in 2015 to almost 1.7 billion.
The combined data indicate that magazines may be finding ways to successfully work around stagnating print circulation.
In a statement, MPA president and CEO, Linda Thomas Brooks, suggested that the results offer evidence that the alternative pathways magazines have diligently built are working.
“What’s astounding is the sheer volume of consumers engaging with magazine media brands across platforms and formats, and how readers continue to diversify the ways in which they trust and enjoy our content,” she observed.
Not surprisingly, mobile devices are leading the way in alternative channels. The reports estimated that mobile brought 147 million new viewers to magazines, more than twice as many as in 2014. And of 140 magazine media brands surveyed, 80 percent reported an increase in mobile unique visitors for the year.
Video is another growing digital gateway. The video audience for magazines grew by more than five million—a 14 percent increase. But print+digital and web (desktop/laptop) audience numbers remained mostly steady for the year.
For 2015, the list of top magazine brands in terms of total brand audience was headed by ESPN The Magazine, People, Better Homes & Gardens, Allrecipes, and AARP. The leaders in average audience growth were NYLON, The Atlantic, domino, The New Yorker, and OK! Magazine.
On the social-media front, National Geographic, ESPN The Magazine, TIME, The Economist, and Vogue led the way in total likes/followers for the year.
Commenting on the findings, Nancy Telliho, SVP of marketing and digital initiatives for MPA, said in a statement that the report further confirms that "magazine media brands are generating a huge percentage of the activity on social media.”
The social media report was based on data provided by Social Flow; the brand audience report used data collected by MPA.