Younger surfers shun print media

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The younger generation of internet users are more likely to avoid traditional print media and get all their news online, according to research from comScore..

Meanwhile, heavy newspaper readers are more likely than average to engage with traditional print news brands online.

"Current generations are growing up getting their news online for free indicating that print circulations are likely to continue their decline," said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore.

"But the internet represents a significant opportunity to extend and improve existing news brands and reach out to new consumers with living, breathing, real-time content.

"Just because print circulations are declining does not mean there are fewer news consumers. In fact, just the opposite is true."

Heavy print newspaper readers show a strong skew towards older age segments, while the non-newspaper reader segments skew towards younger segments, comScore found.

Those age 65 and older are nearly three times more likely to read the print edition of newspapers six times a week, while those age 18-24 are 38 per cent more likely not to read a print newspaper at all during a typical week.

However, it is clear that based on their heavier than average visitation across most key news sites, those who do not read print versions of newspapers are not necessarily light news consumers.

In fact, they show a high propensity to visit the majority of sites studies, including print, TV and internet brands.

Also, heavy print newspaper readers and non-readers show similarly heavy consumption of print news brands online, suggesting that print news sites are not merely an extension of their offline brands but have a standalone brand presence in the online world.

For example, the websites of three of the largest US city newspapers (The New York Times, LA Times and Chicago Tribune) show above average visitation from both heavy newspaper readers and non-readers.

TV news brands are also heavily visited by non-print newspaper readers, underscoring the importance of sight, sound and motion to the digital news experience.

Non-readers were 29 per cent more likely than the average internet user to visit and 15 per cent more likely to visit CBS News Digital.

"Non-newspaper readers are a particularly important segment to reach because they are heavier than average news consumers. They just prefer to consume it in a digital format," said Flanagan.

"That they are receptive to print, TV and internet news brands indicates a broad opportunity online, but the brands that will ultimately win over these key news consumers are those that successfully integrate cutting edge digital content with high quality journalism."

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