'WaPo' Targets Younger Audiences With 'Next Generation' Plan

  • by August 5, 2021
The Washington Post this week announced a plan to boost readership among younger and more diverse audiences. It’s an important initiative and likely will require a heavy presence on social media to reach these demographic groups.
The paper’s Next Generation effort will be led by executives from the business and editorial sides. Bradley Lautenbach, head of commercial marketing, and Phoebe Connelly, an editorial director, will oversee the strategy to engage younger audiences, according to an announcement.
Lautenbach oversees business-to-business marketing activities and leads a team that develops advertising technology. Connelly has worked at WaPo for eight years, most recently as deputy director of video, leading daily news coverage and video partnerships.
The paper will add full-time and part-time people from a variety of departments throughout the company for the Next Generation initiative in the next few weeks. The goal will be to boost revenue and continue to grow national and global subscriptions.
Reaching younger, more diverse audiences is an important initiative amid the changing demographics of U.S. consumers. News audiences tend to skew older and rely on more traditional media outlets to stay informed.
Social media has changed the equation, with younger consumers more likely than older generations to rely on social media for news. About half (53%) of U.S. adults say they get their news from social media at least sometimes, according to a Pew Research study.
Facebook is the biggest source of timely information, with 36% of U.S. adults saying they regularly get news on the site. Among that group, 63% are ages 18 to 49, while the remainder are ages 50+.
Google’s YouTube also is popular, with 23% of adults regularly getting news on the video-sharing platform. About two-thirds (67%) of its regular news consumers are ages 18 to 49, making the group twice as big as the older cohort.
Amid these differences in news consumption, WaPo will have to create content that not only appeals to younger generations, but also is more likely to engage them on social-media apps.



2 comments about "'WaPo' Targets Younger Audiences With 'Next Generation' Plan".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 5, 2021 at 7:37 a.m.

    Interesting, Rob, If WAPO intends to draw significant numbers of "younger" and/or "multicultural" readers it will probably find that that's a possibility if specialized content is offered on the paper's website----and promoted properly---but a dream if they expect it to translate into much more readership for the print edition.

  2. Dane Claussen from Nonprofit Sector News, August 10, 2021 at 10:01 p.m.

    Facebook and YouTube are delivery mechanisms but don't tell you who is producing what the public is consuming.

    Facebook and YouTube themselves don't produce journalism.

    if people are already reading a lot of Washington Post stories on Facebook, great. If not, not so great.

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