Print may be back. An exhaustive study on newspapers has surprisingly revealed that we still like to read one in our hands.
Recently I took part in a survey about my newspaper-reading habits. As a man who never leaves the house without a newspaper under his arm, my replies were very print-friendly.
Somewhat against the odds, final findings of the report reveal that many people are (still) like me. Almost 90% of respondents feel the same. It says that time spent with 11 UK national newspapers by UK audiences, 88.5% comes via print editions, 7.49% from mobiles and only 4% from PCs.
There research shows that while print newspapers are read for an average of 40 minutes per day, online visitors to the websites and apps of those same newspapers spend an average of just 30 SECONDS per day… thot doesn’t even qualify as an attention span.
The findings combined data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the British National Readership Survey and comScore to calculate how much audience attention newspapers’ print, PC/lapto, and mobile platforms attract.
Rather more depressingly and less surprisingly, the Daily Mail has almost 30% market share, a bewildering fact of modern-day life where so-called intelligent people not only click online to read this dirge, but also pick up issues from supermarkets and newsagents.
For brands obsessed with ‘transformation’ and advertisers who seem convinced the analogue newspaper really is a dead-tree business, this research may halt them in their digital tracks. However, it may also convince others that the whole business of traditional true-though-biased-news is a corpse.
The confluence of plummeting circulation of print editions, but at the same time 90% of people preferring to read print editions rather than digital ones, means things are even worse than predicted. Will there be such a thing as digital journalism in the future? Will it ever be a business?
Newsprint appears to be much more engaging than online journalism and unless there is an unlikely reading resurgence, the consequences are demoralising. The future of newsagents may be like that of record shops, the odd specialist emporium where fans and obsessives will go.
I will be one of them, but I wonder how many others will be joining me.