The research, commissioned by News Corp Australia’s metro syndicated magazine Stellar, used a helmet like device to measure brain activity of readers on a Sunday and compared the results to those who read throughout the week.
“This is hard data, recognised by the field of neuroscience around the world, to mean something about how the brain is responding in the moment to a particular experience,” said Neuro-Insight director of sales & marketing Peter Pynta.
Sunday readers were more highly engaged with content, with time spent reading 4.1 per cent higher than during the week. Likewise, weekday readers were 1.9 times more likely to turn the page.
This all comes down to neuroscience. Using the approach/withdrawal score, which measures receptivity on a decimal scale of 0-1, Sundays were found to have a significantly higher approach, or positive, score.
The emotional intensity score showed similar results. Using the same scale, weekday readers were found to be almost twice as stressed of those on the weekend. The findings reflect the busy lifestyles of its mainly female audience.
The Sunday mindset is at the heart of Stellar’s operations, working with the tagline “We have her on Sundays”. Editor-in-chief of the publication Sarrah Le Marquand said the publication went to great lengths to craft a magazine that keeps readers engaged to the last page.
“When we saw the data, we thought it was very validating,” she said
“The real objective of Stellar was to have a product that is highly engaging and very newsworthy, because we sit within a newspaper, but to have all the beauty, aspiration and appeal of a glossy magazine. So it is the two unique appeals that are colliding in this publication.”
The research was also able to track engagement through the whole magazine, highlighting the importance of a high quality cover. One interesting observation was the mid magazine peak of engagement, when readers reached the delicious mini-magazine, the food insert.
The research was commissioned to coincide with the 1st birthday of the relaunched Sunday publication last month.