Young people remain loyal to printed newspapers: study

A key findings from new research on media consumption habits indicates that young people spend almost double the amount of time with their printed newspapers compared to online newspapers.

The research examined the total time spent (print and online) with eight newspaper brands in the UK using ComScore and NRS (National Readership Survey) data between 2000 and 2016 for various age group.

The report, released on December 7, found that Millennials (age 18-34) spend 30 per cent more time with their printed newspapers than the equivalent online brands.  The researchers were interested in examining audiences beyond the traditional readership measures. 

“We are interested in the time that people spend with newspaper brands, because this allows us to compare online and print audiences in a way you can’t easily do if you just look at readership,” said Neil Thurman, professor at City, University of London and LMU University of Munich, and one of the report’s authors. “For instance, if you just look at the numbers that a brand is reaching, you’re missing out on the fundamental differences in the way that people consume information in print and online – print readers spend a lot more time than online readers.”

Readers invest more time reading printed editions. The research found that for weekday editions the average amount of time spent by 18-34 year olds varied considerably:

·        Printed weekday reading = 23 minutes daily on average

·        Online weekday = 43 seconds daily on average

The full report “Has digital distribution rejuvenated readership? Revisiting the age demographics of newspaper consumption” by Neil Thurman and Richard Fletcher can be found online here.