Magazines still popular with kids

The 2008 Canadian Youth Magazine Resonance Study found that 93% of respondents (aged 8-14) like reading magazines, and more than half feel their faves give them more interesting things to do.

Results from the 2008 Canadian Youth Magazine Resonance Study indicate that, despite the influx of entertainment vehicles aimed at kids, they’re still loyal to their favourite magazines.

Funded by Toronto’s Paton Publishing, the study (a follow-up to a similar one conducted in 2001/02) recruited more than 200 kids aged 8-14 to document their weekly reading habits and general attitudes towards print. The results showed that – despite a deluge of other entertainment options – 93% of respondents still like reading magazines, and more than half feel that magazines give them more interesting things to do.

Three primary reasons for these findings were cited by Paton editor in chief Erin Ruddy: Kids view magazines as portable and therefore provide instant gratification anywhere they happen to be; they love the fact that they can share their magazines with friends and family; and they can look at magazines over and over again.

‘Kids today are inundated by media in every format imaginable,’ she explains. ‘It’s sensory overload with TVs, computers and video games in every room. At a time when literacy is a huge concern, we’re happy our publications contribute to younger generations gaining an appreciation for reading.’

In terms of unaided and aided awareness, likeability and readership, YTV’s Whoa! topped the list of favourite titles, followed by Owl and Pop! (a Canadian adventure magazine for kids). The increase for Whoa! since the previous study was considerable. Other mentions included The Magazine, chickaDEE, Kidsworld and National Geographic.

Beyond reading habits, the study also looked at kids’ entertainment consumption and general lifestyle choices. Television still dominates most of children’s media hours, closely followed by the Internet and magazines, but more than half the kids said they feel they watch too much TV and this eats into their time focusing on more beneficial things.

‘This research shows that kids multitask far less when reading a magazine, which is not surprising given that kids are still honing their reading skills at this age,’ says Paton associate publisher Anne Lovegrove. ‘This is also great news for advertisers, as kids have much more focus with this medium.’