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Serial and Government Publications Division




Using the Periodical Collection
arrow graphicStatistics: Market Research of Periodicals





Statistics: Market Research of Periodicals

Circulation information for many periodicals is available through directories (see Periodical Directories) and industry organizations such as the Magazine Publishers of America. One useful way to judge the impact and importance of a periodical is to discover who reads it. Who reads Ladies' Home Journal or Walking Magazine? How many women read Time and Newsweek? At what age do young girls begin reading Cosmopolitan? The answers to these kinds of questions identify women as the intended audience of a publication and determine how companies choose to spend their advertising dollars to reach their target audience. Market research addresses the question: How important are women as consumers?

Two services that provide statistics on market research that cover a wide range of media and specialized markets are Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) and Simmons Market Research Bureau, whose publications include the following:

  • SRDS Consumer Magazine Advertising Source. Des Plaines, Ill.: SRDS, 1995-present. HF5905.S725; current issues, N&CPR.
    Published monthly. Titles are organized by categories such as “Women's,” by which magazine title information is listed. Includes circulation, editorial profiles (intended audience), and geographic distribution of copies. For example, the August 2000 SRDS reported that the greatest number of copies of Latina magazine were sold in the Middle Atlantic States (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania).
  • Study of Media and Markets: Magazine Audiences and Readers per Copy. New York: Simmons Market Research Bureau, Inc. 1974-present. HC101.S527 BusRR latest edition.
    Updated annually. Information is organized by broad subject categories and by very detailed statistical elements. For example, in 1994 Study of Media and Markets reported that twice as many mothers read the National Enquirer and the Star as read Cosmopolitan (7,416,000 vs. 3,565,000 in 1994), and women college graduates making over $40,000 were more likely to read Newsweek than high school graduates making the same amount (3,701,000 vs. 459,000 in 1994).

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