2020 Reading trends: Digital magazines read over 99 million times on Readly

The latest insight of annual reading trends on Readly digital magazine app shows that more than 99 million digital magazine issues were read on the platform, 20% of which were foreign titles, and reading time per user spiked in certain countries during lockdown.  On average Readly’s subscribers enjoy 13 magazines per month and digital reading among children increased by 40 percent in the last year for comic books.

The 2020 insights from Readly shows that subscribers mirror the societal trends during the pandemic and lock-down, with an increased focus on stay-at-home activities. Reading of magazines in the food & drink, home & renovation and interior design categories has increased significantly on a global level.

Categories where reading has increased the most during 2020

1) Food & drink (31%)
2) Home & renovation (25%)
3) Interior design & architecture (21%)
4) TV film & Cinema (19%)
5) Lifestyle (14%)

The magazines we read reveal the passions and interests taking hold of the nation. After a year of lockdowns and much uncertainty, it’s clear to see more people are reading about activities in the home to keep them busy such as DIY, cooking and interior design and  hobbies to take up as they seek a source of inspiration, entertainment and education. Our subscribers are reading more foreign titles and back issues this year than before as they access a wider breadth of magazines and newspapers across our portfolio", says Ranj Begley, UK Managing Director and Chief Content Officer at ReadlyKey reading habits

Readly’s content portfolio has continued to grow rapidly over the last few years reaching over 5,000 titles during 2020, with a catalogue totalling around 140,000 issues. Some clear trends have emerged:

  • Overall reading time per user is on average 7 hours per month, or around 20 minutes per session. Several countries unsurprisingly showed spikes in reading times during lockdown months over the past year.

  • Back issue reading continues to increase, constituting almost 20 percent of all titles read during 2020.

  • The ratio of daily active users remains high with 4 out of 10 monthly active users using the app every day.
  • The average number of magazines read per subscriber over the course of a month is 13.
  • Foreign titles account for 20 percent of all read magazines among our subscribers globally. 

Children's reading

Data shows that digital reading among children and teens is increasing on Readly. The average time spent per user in the children's categories has increased by 40 percent in the last year for comic books, 10 percent for children's magazines, and 8 percent for teenage magazines, compared to 2019.

“Readly’s portfolio of children’s magazines has continued to increase globally. With increasing access to tablets and mobile devices for many children and digital being an integral part of homeschooling, digital reading is becoming an important aspect of children's education as well as entertainment. The digital magazines in our portfolio help inspire the next generation of writers through stimulating content, imaginative storytelling and education. Families can read digital magazines together on the platform, sharing and discovering hobbies like nature, gardening, cooking and sewing”, says Ranj Begley, UK Managing Director and Chief Content Officer at Readly

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