Monday, April 16, 2007

Newspaper Readership Increasing?

I'm skeptical. But according to a study from NAD (Newspaper Audience Data), newspaper circulation is on the rise as over 1,000 newspapers now reach 100 million readers. Here is my favorite quote from the release:
“…newspapers are succeeding in driving new innovations and growing their audiences in both size and value… no better time to launch our 2007 newspaper value campaign than the very day we provide advertisers with audience data spanning the medium’s full portfolio of print and digital products.”

Riiight. I did a little informal survey of my office to see just how many people read the hard copy of the newspaper and/or the online version. The results: 42% read online versions and 21% read the hard copy. Only one person read both! This is nowhere near the "65.8% of adults 18-34 that read the newspaper over the course of the week." And I live in Tallahassee, which isn't a top 50 metro like those cited in the study, but then don't smaller papers usually have a more loyal following?

My thoughts are that the hard copy is NOT driving the online versions, but actually replacing them. Also, many people in my office stated that the online newspaper is just one of many news sources in addition to BBC online, Reuters, CNN and MSN. With the addition of people relying on RSS, I think it's only a matter of time before newspapers become a thing of the past.


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