Engagement Study may solve magazines’ measurement blues

07 Sep,2011

By Akash Raha


Advertisers and media agencies will have more options to choose from in the print industry, as the much-awaited Engagement Study is set to be released at the World Magazine Congress 2011 in New Delhi next month. Mr Pradeep Gupta, President, Association of Indian Magazines (AIM), confirmed this development with MxM India.

The apex association of magazine publishers is delivering on its promise of the Engagement Study on time. Mr Mitrajit Bhattacharya, General Secretary, AIM informed MxM India that the research for the Engagement Study was conducted by Quantum and IMRB, whereas Quantemplate coordinated the project on behalf of AIM. The research methodology of the study was based on desk research by Quantemplate, qualitative survey (20 one-on-one interviews of 2.5 hours each) by Quantum preceded the large scale quantitative survey (Sample Size: 3600 +, across 10 centers) by IMRB.

Commenting on the study’s efficacy for the industry, Mr Bhattacharya said, The magazine industry has never been represented well by the large readership surveys like IRS, which are largely designed to cater to the needs of the dailies. The data for magazines has been less robust and highly fluctuating. More so, these surveys do not attempt to cover qualitative dimensions like reader involvement, lower clutter levels leading to higher attention, recall or even the image building capability which are the strengths of the medium. The Engagement Study will be a highly credible tool for the advertising fraternity to understand the engagement of consumers with various media and to evaluate the level of engagement of magazines vis-vis other media. These insights will help the advertisers immensely in choosing a medium like magazines in absence of sound readership data.

He further added, But let me clarify at this stage that this survey is not attempting to capture any data at an individual title level. It is a very robust survey with a huge sample size, both qualitative and quantitative, trying to address the issues of the magazine industry as a whole, well represented by all major genres and languages.


The AIM had announced during IMC 2010 its plan to conduct the Engagement Study for magazines, which could act as an alternate source of data for advertisers, after advertisers and media agencies expressed their concerns over the measurement issue that has plagued the magazine industry for long. The study is expected to solve the problem of qualitative measurement that the print industry faces, especially in the magazine domain.

We have great work available on this subject in countries like the US, UK etc. However, the complex nature of the magazine market like India, with so many titles in so many different languages, makes this survey a unique and challenging one, concluded Mr Bhattacharya.

Studies have shown that magazines have a completely different level of engagement. Magazine reading is very immersive and concentrated, much more than other mediums. Hence, the study is expected to be a boost for the advertising industry, giving them more options and choices to advertise effectively and efficiently.


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