Affluent Hard Copy Total Print Readership Largely Stable, Even as Digital Device Penetration Rises Sharply

National Newspapers Grow +3.9% in Average Issue Audience (AIA) in Past Year

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New York, NY - Ipsos MediaCT’s 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent Survey, released today, shows that Affluents (HHI $100k+) continue to reaffirm the power of the hard copy print publications in their lives, even as tablet and smartphone penetration grows disproportionately in this demographic. Affluent Women and Ultra Affluents (HHI $250k+) are particularly heavy print consumers, with highest reach and number of titles and issues read.

Now in its 36th year, the 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent survey finds that 82% of Affluents read at least one of the 150 measured and reported print publications (143 magazines and 7 national newspapers). The total duplicated average-issue audience (AIA) is more than 221 million, reflecting that America’s 59 million Affluents read an average of 18.7 issues across an average of 8.2 titles. Comparing publications measured in both 2011 and 2012, Affluent average-issue audience was relatively stable at -1.3%. Ultra Affluents consume approximately 25% more print media, reading an average of 23.5 issues across an average of 10 titles.

“Looking specifically at the 24% of Affluents who read at least one of the six national daily newspapers measured in hard copy form, the total AIA increased by 3.9%, to 11.3 million,” says Steve Kraus, Chief Research & Insights Officer for Ipsos MediaCT's Audience Measurement Group. “Readership incidence of these newspapers is also significantly higher among Ultra Affluents, reaffirming the continued need for an informed, in-depth daily “news fix” among this highly-engaged segment.”

Across all media, the survey also finds that television continues to rank first in advertising reach and receptivity, with magazines a close second. “Previous week” reported TV watching is nearly ubiquitous at 97%, with a small (-4%) reported drop in the average number of hours watched weekly to 16.9 hours. Affluents also reported watching slightly fewer cable networks, although still robust, at 15.7. This however did not dampen their enthusiasm for investing in TV sets that are even bigger in size, quality and connected-ness.

Almost 60% of Affluents reported listening to radio in the past week, and among those listening, average time spent listening rose 4% to 10.6 hours weekly.

Affluent interest in mobile devices and digital media continues to grow. The 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent survey from Ipsos MediaCT finds that 26% of Affluents personally own a tablet, and 47% live in a household with a tablet – figures that essentially tripled from 2011. More than half (55%) now own a smartphone, up from 45% in 2011. Growth was evident in the downloading of the three most widely-used categories of apps – games (68%), weather (62%) and music (62%) – as well as apps related to social networking (45%) and books/e-readers (40%). In 2012, 4.7 million Affluents downloaded a magazine app, more than doubling from 2.0 million in 2011; 5.9 million downloaded a newspaper app, up from 3.6 million in 2011. Affluents reported using the Internet an average of 37.4 hours weekly, up 14% from 2011, with the largest growth seen in sites related to social media, entertainment and shopping.

About the Mendelsohn Affluent Survey

Now in its 36th year, the Mendelsohn Affluent Survey is the definitive single source research tool for consumer insights and media planning regarding Affluent Americans. Among other uses, it serves as a currency study for Affluent print advertising – the agreed-upon source of audience measurement data used by agencies, advertisers and media companies in negotiating the cost and placement of advertising. The 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent Survey was conducted from March through July, and has a sample size of 13,794 adults living in households with at least $100,000 in annual household income. The survey uses a random probability sample drawn from address-based sample frame as well as other rigorous methodologies to ensure the results are projectable to the population of America’s 59 million Affluents.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Steve Kraus
Chief Research & Insights Officer
Audience Measurement Group
Ipsos MediaCT

About Ipsos MediaCT

Ipsos MediaCT is the market research specialization within Ipsos built to reach, engage and more effectively understand today’s digitally-driven consumer in the fast moving media, content and technology space.

We work with leading companies in technology, entertainment and all sectors of media – TV, online, print, mobile, outdoor, radio – helping owners and advertisers to better understand different audiences, the content they consume, the channels they use to consume it and the technology they use to discover, talk about and access this content.

Ipsos MediaCT is a specialist division within Ipsos, one of the world’s largest market research agencies. Ipsos has offices in 84 countries, generating revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011. Alongside media, content & technology, Ipsos has specialist practices in advertising, loyalty, marketing and public opinion research.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

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Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

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Affluent Hard Copy Total Print Readership Largely Stable, Even as Digital Device Penetration Rises Sharply

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Steve Kraus
SVP, Chief Insights Officer, US
Ipsos Connect