secret that newspapers and magazine publishers have suffered steep declines in print circulation over the last decade, and that trend is just going to continue, according to a survey of 1,134 U.S.
adults conducted by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute in the first quarter of the year.
The findings, summarized in RJI’s “2013 Q1 Research Report,” revealed
that 12.7% of print subscribers plan to cancel their subscriptions in 2013. The percentage was highest among print subscribers ages 15-34, with 19% saying they plan to cancel -- but even among
subscribers 65+ the proportion was 10.5%.
On the positive side, the decline in print subscriptions is clearly correlated with increasing consumption of news via digital channels, with
a special emphasis on mobile.
DJI found that 73% of respondents ages 35-44 currently read news on their smartphones, along with 69% of respondents ages 25-34, 66% of respondents ages
18-24, 62% of respondents ages 45-54, and 64% of respondents ages 55-64. For the 65+ age range, the proportion falls sharply to 35%.
Interestingly, more men than women use smartphones
to consume news, across all age groups. In the 18-24 and 25-35 age groups, 56% of smartphone news consumers were men, rising to 62% of smartphone news consumers in the 35-44 age group and 64% in the
45-54 age group.
The closest proportions were seen in the 55-64 age group, where 52% of smartphone news consumers were men and 48% were women. But the biggest disparity was seen in the 65+
age group, where 69% of smartphone news consumers were men and just 31% were women.
Moving to tablets, a similar proportion of tablet owners across most age groups used tablets to
consume news, including 66% of the 25-34 age group, 67% of the 35-44 age group, 67% of the 45-54 age group, and 70% of the 55-64 age group. The lowest proportions were seen among the 65+ age group,
where 59% use their tablets to consume news, and the youngest age group, where just 42% of adults ages 18-24 use their tablets to consume news.