Sunday, May 05, 2013

Move from print to digital to mobile accelerates, especially among key groups for newspapers

Americans' use of mobile media devices keeps rising, and the biggest jumps in the past year have been among people ages 45 to 54 and older than 64, two core groups for print newspaper subscriptions, according to the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.

"More than half (55 percent) overall in 2013 were mobile news consumers compared to 42 percent of respondents overall in 2012," the institute said in a report. "In every age group except for those 65 and older, the percentage of respondents who used mobile media devices to keep up with the news exceeded the percentages of those who used desktop computers for news."

Rural newspapers, which rely more on print readership, should note this result: "The aging of print news consumers is clearly evident in our survey results. Last year slightly less than half of the newspaper subscribers were age 55 or older. This year they accounted for 61 percent. The use of mobile media for news has grown rapidly among newspaper subscribers in the past 12 months. . . . For newspapers pursuing a digital-first model, this would seem to lend support for their efforts. But it also may be accelerating the decline of print."

The report has six charts, the first four of which it summarizes this way: "as the number of mobile media users grows, mobile devices are used more for news than desktop computers are used for news, and print newspaper subscriptions decline." Then there are these two charts (click on image for larger version):

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