This year we did our very first Readers Survey - it was a good exercise and gave us a lot to think about! But when it comes to featuring that information in the magazine, there's only so much space... and we're not trying to look like the official magazine of the Office of National Statistics! But we realise that some of you might be interested in some of the fine detail (we are all nerds after all!), so this blog post is going to go through everything we produced off the back of the data we gathered, should that be your cup of tea.
Right, let's get started. We have a long way to go! Obviously, as always with these sorts of exercise, there's caveats to consider in terms of how the people that responded represent the whole readership, whether that skews certain questions in certain directions etc. So obviously bear that in mind as you digest the data.
Our first section is all about the magazine itself. That's why we're here after all, isn't it? All these questions are focussed on specific details about how you access AA, what you want to see in the mag and what your favourite parts are.
This question focussed on how you got to know about AA in the first place. As you can see, most people got to know about the magazine via online sources, while quite a few heard about us via YouTube and Twitch (I'm sure if we were to dig deeper, that would break down to our friends in the AmigaBill, Amigos and AmigaLive communities for the most part). It's nice to see some people coming across from The Retro Hour, but also that some people saw AA for the first time in the newsagent - this helps validate our decision to keep the mag in the shops as long as we can.
Next up, we're looking at how you get your magazine. I suppose it should come as little surprise that the majority of survey respondents are our subscribers, as we'd usual consider those to be our most dedicated readers that are more likely to get involved in this kind of thing. But there's almost a third of people picking up the magazine in the shops, again validating that retail approach.
We wanted to know how often people pick up AA. We can only surmise so much from direct sales, so this is pretty valuable to us. And given the vast majority of people seem to picking up every single issue, that can only be good news for us!
Now you've got your magazine, how much of it do you actually read. We put a lot of work into the content of every issue, so it's somewhat gratifying to see that 88% of respondents are reading the vast majority of what is in the mag! We know we're a fairly dense mag in terms of text content (by design), so we're fully aware it can be challenging to find the time to sit down and get through the full mag, so thanks for that!
Well this is a landslide response. Speaking to magazine readers over the years, I know not everyone approaches them in the same way, but I guess modern Amiga mag readership is all about building a collection. It's nice to think about all those shiny AA issues sitting on people's shelves alongside their classic Amiga games and classic mags!
This question focusses on reviews of classic Amiga games. As a modern Amiga publication, hitting the right mix of new vs old is a constant source of contention for us - the editorial team will frequently discuss whether we'll overcooked it on a particular month. It seems like we're getting it about right though with about 2 or 3 classic reviews per issue, although some people would clearly be happy with more, so if we get an extra one in there now and again, that's probably fine. Which is good news for us!
I'm sure most of you know that Addict Magazines also produces non-Amiga content. In fact since we put this survey out, we've put out the collector's edition Amstrad Addict too! But it was interesting to see that nearly a third of respondents pick up both of our flagship titles. We sometimes think of those audiences as being entirely separate from each other, but there's clearly some overlap. I not sure whether that says something about the quality of the publications or just that we're good at cross-marketing our titles, but it's good to see nonetheless!
We don't get a virtual coverdisk on the mag every issue, but when we get the opportunity, it's a big boon for us. Slightly worrying then that a small number people had no idea we even did one! That's the minority though thankfully. And while most of the respondents didn't download and play the disk, we understand it can be a bit tricky to get an ADF onto your real hardware Amiga!
To follow up on the coverdisk question, we were also interested in how many people we using the free coverdisk label we provide for subscribers. We knew it wouldn't be everyone (how many spare floppies are out there anyway?), but we're glad to see people getting some use out of it. Did you know you can buy any disk labels you've lost over at the shop now?
We've always strived to follow the example of Amiga Format and CU Amiga and split our content between games and productivity. But even then it can be easy for us nerds to go into too much depth, so it was important for us to know whether we were getting our techieness about right. And the vast majority of respondents shouted out with a resounding "YES!". So that's great I guess!
Well now we're into the meaty questions! Favourite cover is an important one, and it's good to see that two of the covers we commissioned from artists have hit the top 5! And I guess at this festive time of year, it's good to see a Christmas cover in the charts too. But no real surprise that our man Stoo Cambridge has snatched the top spot. You can get a lovely print of this piece of artwork over at his site.
Well this one surprised me! The utilities coverdisk was people's favourite?! It definitely matched up with the theme of the Digita issue (one I'm particularly fond of myself), but that was still a surprise. Our custom Bean vs The Animator and h0ffman's super special disk with Endless Knightmare on it also get a mention (the latter being my particular favourite).
You can't beat a good word cloud, and this one looking at people's suggestions for future articles has a ton of information to dig into. Clearly programming and AMOS are a key interest (one we're already satisfying now with Keith Elcombe's regular tutorials!), but there's so much more in there. I'm not going to talk through it in detail, but take a look!
OK, we've got a good idea about your interactions with the mag, but who the hell are you? Time to find out...
Yeah, you're old, no great surprise there! Honestly there being anyone under 35 is something of a miracle but that 36-46 range covers the vast majority of a respondents, and means most people were somewhere between 3 and 13 in 1990. Which makes a lot of sense - people are forming their key computing loves around that age!
We were interested to know how many mag subscriptions people maintain. Quite the split here, but wow, those people with 4 or more subs are really keeping the physical mag community alive!
You can't have an Amiga mag survey without finding out what Amigas you all have. So let's dip into your personal hardware reserves and see just what everyone is hiding in the spare room...
We cover a lot of games in our magazine, so it's only natural we asked people what their top 5 games were, and I guess there are really no surprises here. Lemmings on top, Lotus, Monkey Island, a good selection of Sensible titles. What did we expect, really?
Not to be left out - productivity software is an important one too. DPaint absolutely ran away with this one, with OctaMED coming in a not-close second. Let's not ignore that X-Copy sitting pretty at 16% either!
OK, time to really get down to business. What Amigas do you all have? We knew the A1200 was popular, but for 75% of all respondents to have one? That's pretty impressive given how much they cost these days. The A500 being in second is no real surprise, but to see TheA500 Mini beating out the A600 makes me a little sad as an A600 owner myself. But I guess they're easier to get hold of than the old hardware. Big boxes doing pretty well too, given most of you are in the UK!
Getting online with the Amiga, even today, is not an easy task (the hours I spent prodding my Plipbox are testament to that). And the survey reflects this too, with two thirds of respondents not being online. Or maybe you just don't care because Sensi doesn't have an online mode?
OK, upgrades time. A lot of people have a CF card hard drive in their Amiga, and quite a few have some kind of Gotek. These are seen as pretty essential upgrades these days, as are RAM expansions. But 15% of people are knocking around with Amigas just as Jay intended! Pretty impressive.
I think I'm with the majority of you here. I spent a bunch on my Amiga when I first got it, so spending much monthly doesn't seem like a key focus. Plus there's so much free stuff available for the Amiga these days! But I can't help but be jealous of that thin sliver of people spending over 100 quid a month on their Amiga hobby. That must be a crazy collection!
We asked you how you used your Amigas, and no surprises here - gaming came out on top. But people do a bit everything with Amiga, and music definitely has a spike there too.
And finally - a bit of a silly question. What do you really think of the ST? I'm actually kind of heartened that some of you retro freaks love it too, at this time of goodwill to all systems. Most of you just don't care though, and that's fine too.
And there you go - that's the whole survey results, warts and all. Hope you found it interesting, we certainly did? Maybe pop over to Discord or onto socials if you want to chat about any particular results? We'll be happy to discuss!!!