Today, less than one in three individuals (32%) read any magazines online as readers cite inconvenience (54%); dislike of online banner ads, pop-ups, and general distractions (47%); prices of online magazines (43%); and eye strain (23%) as the main reasons for staying away from online magazines.
Readers so prefer traditional to online that even of those people who regularly read online magazines, only 22% actually prefer reading magazines online – while 73% expressed that they would not forgo their paper magazine for an online alternative – even for half the price. In fact, while a majority of respondents (63%) currently pay for a traditional magazine subscription – nearly 80% expect online magazines to be free.
The survey was was not all bad news for online magazines, however. According to a press release about the survey, readers believe that online publications provide more timely content (59%) Yet, only 22% perceive that online magazines provide higher quality content than their print versions.
“Though online magazines have an advantage in that they can deliver real-time news and information, they don’t stand a chance when competing for a reader’s undivided attention,” summed up Lee Smith. “Online publications are not the magic bullet publishers were hoping for to retain readership.”