Half Of Newspaper Readership Still Print-Only

Reports of print media’s demise may have been exaggerated, judging by the results of a new study from Nielsen Scarborough, which shows that over half of all newspaper readers in the U.S. consume newspaper content exclusively via their print editions.

However, enduring print media consumption doesn’t translate into sustained print advertising revenues, which continue to decline at a steady clip.

Overall, 51% of respondents said they read newspapers in print only, according to Nielsen Scarborough. Plus, 14% said they read newspaper content in print, on the Web, and on mobile devices. Another 10% said they read newspapers both in print and on the Web, but not mobile.

A slightly smaller proportion, 8%, said they read newspapers on the Web and mobile devices, and 6% said they read them in print and via mobile, but not Web. The same proportion, 6%, said they read newspaper content exclusively on mobile, and 5% said they read them exclusively on the Web.

Crunching these numbers, 81% of respondents consume at least some newspaper content in print, while 37% read at least some on the Web, and 34% read at least some on mobile. Although there is obviously considerable overlap between all three categories, print clearly remains the dominant medium for newspaper consumption.

No surprise, digital newspaper consumers tend to skew younger than print readers. Overall, 32% of digital newspaper readers are Millennials, ages 21-34, and 28% are Gen X, ages 35-49. By comparison, just 20% of print newspaper readers are Millennials, and 21% are Gen X.

Unfortunately, the continued popularity of print doesn’t appear to be offering any relief on the advertising front. As noted in a previous post, total revenues for the newspaper publishing industry came to $6.39 billion in the third quarter of the year, down 2.5% from $6.56 billion in the third quarter of 2015, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

1 comment about "Half Of Newspaper Readership Still Print-Only".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, December 20, 2016 at 12:05 p.m.

    It's why some who work at newspapers refer to the obituaries section as subscriber countdown. Gallows humor.

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