Revisiting The Magazine Networks Passion Response Study

Following its recent win at the FIPP Insight Awards, we take another look at the 2016 study.

Commissioned by Magazine Networks last year to coincide with the relaunch of the industry body, the Passion Response Study explored the people who read magazines online and offline and the overlap between the two.

It also looked at the time spent with the medium as well as delving deeper into titles within specific genres including fashion, home, health, food and lifestyle. Additionally, a dedicated portion of the research covered the implications on the path to purchase by exploring ad recall.

At the time of its commissioning, it was the largest study of its kind.

Led by research agency Fiftyfive5, almost 3,000 Australian consumers were interviewed with the objective to highlight the unique role magazines – in both print and digital formats – play in the market.

The research analysed readers’ perceptions of print and online magazines across key market categories by surveying their levels of engagement, influence and response to purchase.

The study found that only professional magazine content generates passionate audiences, at scale, across channel formats with trust and relevance. It confirmed that magazines have a clear role to play in igniting, directing and activating brand response.

In July, the study was awarded Gold at the FIPP Insight Awards and the judges said: “The concept was simple but applicable to all magazine publishers. It provided strong evidence for magazine media.”

Key findings of the study included:


  • 61% of readers believe magazines provide them with information they trust on trends, brands or products
  • Magazine readers are more than twice as likely to trust what they read and see in magazines (print and digital) than on social media
  • Readers feel more passionately toward magazines (print) than any other medium
  • 73% of magazine readers believe featured and recommended products are curated to suit them
  • 65% of readers have been influenced by the recommended or featured products
  • Magazine readers spend 29% more on their interests than the average Australian
  • Online magazine readers are particularly valuable spending 40% more on their interests than the average Australian

Print and online

  • 72% of readers are influenced by the content of magazines both on and offline
  • 65% of readers are influenced by products featured in magazines, again, both on and off-line
  • Readers are 22% more likely to be influenced by ads if they read across print and digital than print alone
  • Readers are 24% more likely to be influenced by recommended or featured products if they read across print and digital than print alone
  • Magazine readers are 18% more likely to post on social media than other media users
  • 46% of print magazine readers went online after reading either to visit the magazine’s online elements or search for more information on a product

Delving into magazine verticals

To fully understand how the passion points of readers can be leveraged for advertisers, the study focused on the key verticals of lifestyle, fashion, home and health surveying a representative panel of on and offline readers.

The findings for each vertical included:

Lifestyle magazines

  • Lifestyle magazines increase desire for brands by 47%
  • Lifestyle magazines increase intrigue around brands by 33%
  • Lifestyle magazines increase brand relevance by 58%
  • Lifestyle magazines increase advocacy by 45%
  • Lifestyle magazine readers are the most engaged spending, on average, 1 hour 23 minutes per issue on the print format and 41 minutes online
  • 79% of lifestyle magazine readers trust the content
  • 72% of lifestyle magazine readers are inspired by the content

Fashion magazines

  • 68% of readers have been influenced by ads in fashion magazines
  • 72% of readers have been influenced by recommended or featured products
  • Fashion magazines drive one in four readers to search for brands
  • Fashion magazines increase brand desire by 42%
  • Fashion magazines drive advocacy by 63%

Home magazines

  • 88% of readers are inspired around the home by magazines
  • 83% of readers are fascinated by the content in home magazines
  • Three out of four readers have been influenced by recommended or featured products
  • Two out of three readers have been influenced by the ads
  • Home magazines double brand advocacy
  • Home magazines build familiarity by 60%
  • Home magazines build commitment to purchase by 30%

Health magazines

  • 84% of readers trust the advice in health magazines
  • 80% of readers have confidence in what health magazines tell them
  • 81% of readers feel more informed after reading health magazines
  • 79% of readers feel the ads in health magazines are curated for them
  • Two out of three readers are influenced by the ads in health magazines
  • Health magazines drive advocacy by 92%

Overall, the study found that magazine readers are more likely to be lead consumers than other media users. The brands they choose are important to them, they love searching out new products and when they find something new and noteworthy, they like to tell others about it.

The Passion Response Study was followed in July this year by the Multiplier Effect Study which sought to gauge the value of including print magazines in the media mix. Find out more about the Multiplier Effect Study here.