Audience Engagement Digital Publishing
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210,000 digital issues were read 120 million times: Readly’s 2021 reading trends

Consumers are turning their homes into havens to relax and enjoy life

Readly, the European category leader within digital magazine subscriptions, has compiled a report detailing the top magazine reading trends of 2021. It demonstrates the continued impact the pandemic is having on consumers and their interests. 

The latest insights show that 210,000 digital issues were read 120 million times on the platform with spiked readership in categories such as Home & Renovation and TV, Film & Cinema. In 2021 the number of bookmarked pages increased by 46% and the majority of these pages were recipes. 

The increased focus on stay-at-home activities started in 2020 because of the pandemic and has continued during 2021. But there is also a parallel trend emerging – an increased interest in wellness and outdoor activities. 

Although people are turning their homes into places where they can recharge, enjoy food and escape reality, it is actually the readership of the Running, Cycling & Fitness magazines that increased the most.

Maybe it is the ultimate mix of activities that appeal to the crowd. After all, there is no better feeling than to eat a bowl of pasta in front of your favorite series after you have had a proper workout.

Chris Couchman, Head of Content at Readly

Categories where reading has increased the most during 2021 across all markets:

1) Running, Cycling & Fitness (32%)

2) Home & Renovation (30%)

3) TV film & Cinema (26%)

4) Cars & Motoring (26%)

5) Travel & Regional (25%)

Cooking is the new indoor entertainment

The number of bookmarked pages in magazines has increased by 46% during the year, and most of these are cooking recipes. By taking a closer look at the pages with most bookmarks it seems that there is an urge for comfort food such as one-pots and pans. Some examples of the most bookmarked recipes:

  • In the UK: One-pot prawn & lentil curry
  • In Germany: Potato Farmer Pan
  • In Australia: One-pan greek lemon chicken & rice

Maybe the pandemic has caused us to crave hearty and cosy meals that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Readers have definitely found comfort in these recipes and cooking has strengthened its position as the number one indoor entertainment.

Chris Couchman, Head of Content at Readly

UK magazine snapshot

  • British readers have read 21 million issues
  • 10% of all titles read by UK users are foreign titles
  • 22% of all titles read by UK users are back issues 
  • 6 pm on Thursdays is the most popular time to read magazines
  • The most read category among Brits is Celebrity & Entertainment

Readly’s content portfolio has continued to grow rapidly over the last few years reaching 6,300 magazine titles during 2021, with a catalogue totalling around 210,000 magazine issues from 11 markets.

Readership of foreign titles represent a fifth of all read issues where US magazine Rolling Stone’s issue with Dua Lipa got the biggest global audience.


More trends and toplists are found in the full report.