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New moms & magazines

One of the emerging media trends among new mothers relates to magazine usage.  According to EMA’s proprietary research, new moms report that due to having less free time than before having kids, they do not spend as much time consuming media.  Over half surveyed in this study reported spending less time watching TV (57 percent of respondents) and reading magazines (51 percent). In addition, they also reported spending less time shopping in stores (53 percent).  One-third of these new moms have shifted focus on ways to save time and money, including shopping online, coupon clipping, and searching for online deals.

The genre of magazines varies between moms and non-moms. According to Simmons Spring 2011 Full Year study, new moms (defined for this article as Women ages 18-44 with one child under 2 years of age) are more likely to have read magazines in child-rearing/parenthood, entertainment, teen subject matter, and women’s fashion and beauty categories in the past six months than women of the same age without children.  Non-mothers (Women ages 18-44 with no children) are more likely than new moms and experienced moms (defined here as Women ages 18-44 with one or more children under 18 years of age) to have read business and finance, home and home services, news and sports titles in the past six months.  Interestingly, women across all three of these categories were equally likely to have read health and fitness and women’s categories in the past six months.

This same Simmons study suggests that both new and experienced moms are more likely than non-mothers to have read or looked into the titles such as All You, Allure, Better Homes & Gardens and In-Style in the past six months.  New moms are more likely to have read or looked at American Baby, Baby Talk, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire, Parenting: Early Years and Seventeen in the past six months than both non-mothers and experienced moms.  New moms were less likely to have read or looked at Discover, Elle Décor, Family Circle, Gardening How-to, and Ladies’ Home Journal than both experienced and non-mothers.  From this information, we can draw the conclusion that new moms are using magazines as a source of information and entertainment in order to stay up-to-date on trends for themselves and their children, rather than hobbies or home.

Despite the fact that media consumption overall is down for this demographic, there are some publications that continue to see increasing numbers of new moms reading. For instance, one magazine that has seen enormous growth as a result of the shift of new moms focus on ways to save time and money is All You magazine. Launched in 2004, this magazine achieved a circulation of 925,000 in its first five years.  By 2011, it has grown to 1,300,000 copies, representing a 40 percent increase.  This is likely due to their editorial focus on budget-conscious moms looking to save time and money for themselves and their families. Nearly half of All You readers are Women ages 25-54 with children in the household. This magazine features ways to save, coupons, and family friendly recipes that help moms multitask.

As marketers, understanding changes in media consumption and media selection within our target audience is essential. As new moms reduce their time spent with media, including magazines, we need to be more in-tune with where they are spending their time, and utilize those sources to reach them.