Print's fashion and beauty coverage took the trust prize by the widest margin, outstripping readers who trust websites more by 24%, according to the study of 1,500 adults 18 to 54, which was complemented by analysis based on a Mediamark Research database. People are seven times more likely to turn to print for fashion and beauty content, the research found.
Print coverage of food and cooking was more trusted by a 7% margin; print entertainment news was more trusted by 5%.
"Print offers something very, very unique, specifically around trustworthiness and authoritativeness," said David Shiffman, senior VP-connections research and analytics at MediaVest. "The personal experience people have with it is very different from what they're looking for and getting in the digital world."
The web beat print for trustworthiness in one area: health and wellness, where readers preferred digital sources such as WebMD by 3%.
"The research is going to help publishers develop and steer their content in the appropriate direction," said Robin Steinberg, senior VP-director of print investment at MediaVest. "When most magazines first launched their sites, they didn't have the correct approach of utility, immediacy and customization. They were basically taking content from the magazine and putting it online. Research such as this helps publishers to create online environments and experiences that align with user expectations of the online world vs. the offline or in-book."
The MediaVest study also found:
- There remains very low duplication between the audiences for print publications and their online companions. Duplication ranged from 1% to 6% for every category except entertainment, where some titles reached duplication rates of 10%.
- Print titles should deliver something different with their online extensions, according to 79% of respondents who were dual magazine and digital users. But only 44% said they strongly believed that publishers' sites really offer something unique.
- Print will never die. Only 12% of respondents said they strongly believed that a publisher's site could easily replace the print product within the next five years.