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Analyzing the Websites of American Magazines

As a follow up to our most recent newspaper study and last year's examination of magazines, our team has finished some research evaluating America's top 50 commercial magazines (according to circulation) based on the presence or lack of certain web features.  The purpose of this research was to determine how American magazines are using the Web, and how the online programs of magazines have changed over the past year.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • More magazines are using reporter blogs in 2007 than in 2006.   Fifty-eight percent of the magazines researched now offer reporter blogs on their sites, compared to just 40 percent in 2006.  Ninety three percent of these blogs allow reader comments, while just 31 percent use blogrolls, or links to external blogs.

  • Newspapers fared better than magazines in nearly every category in 2007.  The only exception is the use of tags; four percent of magazines use tags compared to just one percent of newspapers.
  • The usage of required registration increased since last year from 38 percent to 42 percent.
  • Video usage nearly doubled in 2007, with 60 percent of the magazine websites we researched now offering video content.  In 2006, just 34 percent of the websites offered this feature.

The following chart summarizes the report's results.  Many more charts are included in the actual study.

magchart07.gif

In general, we have found that magazines are slower at adopting Web 2.0 trends than newspapers.  We can hypothesize that this is due to the differing cultures surrounding the two types of print media: newspapers and the content they present are essential to most people's daily lives.  In contrast most magazines are something "extra", and are often focused on entertainment.  Perhaps for this reason, magazine websites tend to be geared more toward the casual browser rather than a serious reader or application user. 

You can read our full report here and check out our data here.