Media’s “Trump Bump”: Magazines with Donald Trump on the cover attract more readers

by | Apr 25, 2016 | Analysis, Politics and Government - US, Popculture, Traditional Media

Over the past seven months, magazine issues featuring Donald Trump on their covers attracted more readers across a variety of age and income segments than typical issues for the same titles, according to new research from GfK MRI.

The biggest impact was among adult men who live in households with annual incomes under $50,000; but even readers in higher income brackets were more likely to read the magazines featuring Trump. For example, adults in households with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 were 15% more likely to read those issues featuring Trump on the cover.

Trump’s influence extended to magazines of all kinds, from The New Yorker to The National Enquirer. An issue of Rolling Stone featuring Trump posted one of the highest readership scores (index of 126), and readers of that issue in the highest household income bracket ($75,000-plus annually) registered a 130.

“While our data do not suggest who will or will not end up voting for Trump, he certainly has the power to make specific magazine issues very appealing,” said Mickey Galin, EVP of research development at GfK, in a news release. “This ‘Trump bump’ is exactly what publishers want.”

GfK MRI surveyed adults about their readership of 16 issues within six magazine genres between July of 2015 and February of 2016. The magazine titles—within the genres of business/finance, entertainment, general editorial, men, music and news—were Bloomberg BusinessweekEsquireForbesNational EnquirerNew York MagazineNew York Times MagazinePeopleRolling Stone, The EconomistThe New YorkerTime and Us Weekly.

Interviewed online, respondents were asked whether they had “read or looked into” any of the 16 issues featuring Trump on their covers. To produce comparative indices, the results were referenced against adult reader recall of the same magazines during the survey period but without Trump on the cover.

Men were 17% more likely to have read or looked into one of the Trump issues, compared to issues without Trump, and those with annual incomes under $50,000 were 32% more likely.

Here is how other gender, age and income groups index for readership of issues featuring Trump, with 100 representing the average for all adults:

  • Men with some level of college education: 127
  • Men ages 18-34: 125
  • Men with annual household incomes between $50,000 and $75,000: 124
  • Men ages 55+: 121
  • Adult men (ages 18+): 117
  • Adults with no college education: 115
  • Adults with some college: 114
  • Adult women (ages 18+): 108

Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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