Industry analysts have been writing the obituary for newspapers for almost a decade now. But perhaps that’s a premature death notice.
“A recent Nielsen Scarborough study found that more than 169 million adults in the U.S. read a newspaper in a month—whether it be in print, on a website or via mobile app,” notes Nielsen in a recent post. “In total, newspapers reach 69 percent of the U.S. population in a given month.”
That should come as a surprise to many — both inside and outside the advertising industry.
One reason why newspapers are holding on? They’re digging deep to master digital.
“Newspapers remain largely a print medium, but the dramatic growth in digital media in recent years has compelled newspaper publishers to re-think their distribution models and become multi-platform content providers,” explains Nielsen. “According to the recent study, 81 percent of monthly newspaper readers engage with the print product, with 51 percent reading print exclusively. The remaining 49 percent reads a newspaper on at least one digital platform, with 30 percent reading both digital and print.”
Interestingly, as digital media have gained in prominence, newspapers have attracted younger readers.
“Newspaper readers are still educated and affluent, but their ages are more reflective of the general population than they have been in the past,” notes the report. “Compared to previous decades, younger readers now account for a greater percentage of newspaper readers. Notably, Millennials 21-34 make up 25 percent of the U.S. population and now represent 24 percent of the total monthly newspaper readership. Based on the shift in age of the newspaper reader, it’s clear that the newspaper industry’s adoption of digital distribution has allowed it to reach adults of all ages.”
One advantage remaining for newspapers: they still maintain an educated and affluent audience.
“Readers, whether print or digital, are still more likely to be college graduates and have annual household incomes over $100,000 than non-readers. And by broadening their distribution to digital channels, many newspapers have attracted digital readers, who represent an even more affluent and educated segment of readers,” according to Nielsen.
Bottom line? Based on the recent Nielsen Scarborough survey, it’s clear that newspapers remain a thriving and viable medium — and still attract younger, affluent readers who are prized by advertisers.