Today, we are excited to share with you our 2012 Digital IQ Index: Magazines. This year’s report looked at 80 American magazine titles and measured their digital competence according to 350 data points across five dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media, Mobile, and Tablet. Because this marks the second year L2 has conducted the magazines study, the amount of data available for analysis in this Digital IQ report was significantly more robust than last year–thus, allowing our researchers to better quantitatively and qualitatively assess the magazines’ overall performances. Given the pace, even just in the past year, at which the magazine industry has adapted to the increasingly digital landscape, it was also necessary to “grow” the study’s original research methodology.


Driven by the publishing world’s evolving priorities, changes to the 2012 methodology included a heavier focus on: tablet editions (this is the first L2 study to add ‘Tablet’ as a separate, fifth metric), experimentation on emerging platforms, and digital opportunities for advertisers. Even with these significant methodological changes, the majority of last year’s top performers retained their status in the Top 10 for a second consecutive year (these include: TIME, People, Sports Illustrated, Glamour, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan). Content may still king in the traditional sense, but our research shows that how deftly that great content is shared, displayed and integrated across digital platforms is quickly becoming just as, if not more vital. Among those that do it best: Wired (the report’s lone ‘Genius’ for several reasons, including cross-channel advertising and strong e-commerce integration), The New Yorker (whose site and tablet efforts have successfully shifted the title’s center of gravity from off- to online) and Entertainment Weekly (one of the first magazines to experiment with Social TV).


For additional highlights from the Digital IQ Index: Magazines report (an excerpt of which can be downloaded here), watch this original video and be sure to attend our forthcoming webinar on the subject:



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