18 to 34 year-olds spend more time with newspapers in print than online

Young people spend almost twice as much time with newspapers in print than they do online, new research published has found.

The report, ‘Has digital distribution rejuvenated readership? Revisiting the age demographics of newspaper consumption’, shows that in 2016, 65 per cent of the time spent with newspapers brands by their 18-34 year old readers came via their print editions – that’s a total of 21.7 billion minutes, compared to 11.9 billion minutes spent accessing the websites and apps of the same publications.

The report, published in the Journalism Studies journal, is a follow-up from a project carried out earlier in 2017, which found 89 per cent of UK national newspaper reading is still in print.

“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.

“Most newspapers are getting the majority of their revenues from print, so there is a correlation between the time that people are spending with a brand in a particular medium and the value of those print or digital readers,” he said.

“Look at the revenues – even The New York Times is still getting 65 per cent of its revenues from print, and that’s one of the most advanced digital newspapers.”

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