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American magazine genre snapshot

May 4: Scanning magazine racks in the U.S, it might be easy to draw the conclusion that most glossies are made for women with numerous titles in fashion, beauty, motherhood, home décor and cooking.

An argument could probably be made for the readership of celebrity tabloids like Us Weekly or female-led cooking title Every Day with Rachael Ray. Cooking Light says that 85.1 percent of its audience is women whose median age is 47. And People magazine says 68 percent of its readership is women (67.7 percent of whom are gainfully employed). Rolling Stone’s readership is split almost evenly down the middle.

Vocus Media Research Group decided to take a snapshot of North America’s top tier print magazines and has ranked them according to their interest or genre. Assuming that any title that says over 85 percent of its readers are women is a women’s interest publication, here’s how the genres break down for titles with a monthly circulation above 500,000 in the Vocus database:

27.6%            Women’s Interest
23.5%            News/Business
9.75%            Entertainment/Celebrity
7.31%            Gender-Neutral Parenting
5.69%            Men’s Interest
4.0%              Shelter
3.25%            Sports
3.25%            Technology
2.43%            Travel
2.4%              Cooking
2.4%              General Health
2.4%              Nature
1.6%              African-American interest
1.6%              Automotive Interest
1.6%              Senior Interest

This break down shows that women’s interest magazines are only a small percentage above another category – news and business magazines. Additionally, grouping automotive and sports titles under the men’s interest percentage, makes it the third largest category behind news magazines and women’s interest. We’ll track this snapshot again later this year to report on any trends for these areas of interest.

— Rebecca Bredholt

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