Submitted: The Two Sides Team March 10, 2014
Fifty-five percent of U.S. newspaper readers consume their local paper in print only.
March 4, 2014
Fifty-five percent of U.S. newspaper readers consume their local paper in print only, compared to 15 percent reading print and digital versions and 10 percent preferring digital only editions, according to a recent survey by Scarborough on behalf of the Newspaper Association of America. The survey included 150 U.S. media markets. Of those consuming local news digitally, seven percent preferred online reading, three percent preferred mobile articles, and five percent desired both web and mobile options.
This, on the surface, appears to be great news for the imaging industry, proof that print is here to stay. The newspaper industry relies on advertisers for the bulk of their revenue, and advertisers rely on subscribers to buy their product or service. Therefore, a newspaper must balance both advertiser demands and subscriber preferences.
The survey indicates the print-only readership is a 'well-defined, upscale audience' attractive to advertisers. Unfortunately, though, digital subscriptions are not increasing subscription rates quickly enough to replace revenue and attract advertisers, especially among newspapers with less than 500,000 subscribers. This leaves newspapers in a finicky position, trying to decide who to please. Newspapers still have a long way to go to reinvent an archaic industry that is quickly becoming obsolete in the next-generation consumer's mind.