MRI launches test to measure Magazine Readership in all Digital Formats.

Beginning next month, Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI) will conduct 1,000 in-home interviews, nationwide, to test the most effective way to question consumers about their magazine readership across all available formats and devices. This large-scale test is designed as a forerunner to incorporating new interview language into MRI’s national Survey of the American Consumer, which provides consumer magazine audience ratings.

“The magazine industry is poised for what many believe will be a powerful game changer– e-reading in all its forms, including via tablets and mobile apps,” said Kathi Love, President and Chief Executive Officer of MRI. “MRI intends to take the lead in measuring magazine content across all devices as, and if, consumers’ magazine-reading behavior changes.”

MRI has measured consumer adoption of new devices which can be used to read magazines—such as e-readers and the iPhone—since those devices were introduced into the marketplace. This pilot test is designed to determine how best to measure the extent to which individual magazine titles are being read on these new tools.

The magazine formats and the devices used to read magazines which will be measured in the pilot test include:

– Magazines printed on paper.
– Magazine websites.
– Electronic reproductions of magazines (such as those provided by Zinio and Texterity).
– Mobile magazine reading (on cell phones; smart phones such as the iPhone and Blackberry; and via mobile apps).
– E-readers (such as Kindle, the Nook and Sony E-Reader).
– Tablets (such as The Skiff and the new iPad).

“The test is designed to ensure that future questions asked as part of MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer are articulated in a way that is clearly understood by the respondent,” said Love. “This is important because new technologies are expressed in many ways and not always uniformly understood by all consumers. The results of this pilot test will inform us as to how to most accurately incorporate questions about magazine reading across multiple platforms into our Survey of the American Consumer.”

The pilot test will be conducted from April to November of 2010. MRI expects that learning from the pilot test could be incorporated into The Survey of the American Consumer –in the form of new questions–in late 2011 at the earliest.

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