2012 Newspaper Multiplatform Usage

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1 NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA Advancing Newspaper Media 2012 Newspaper Multiplatform Usage Prepared by Frank N. Magid Associates Inc.

2 Table of Contents Introduction Overview Newspaper Platform Users The News Environment The Appeal of Multiple Newspaper Platforms Using Newspaper Platforms Newspaper Digital Advertising Circulars Apps Appendix: Technical Notes Prepared by: Frank N. Magid Associates Inc Newspaper Association of America

3 Introduction Research reported here is based on a new survey of 2,518 U.S. adults who read local U.S. newspapers on a mix of four print and/or digital platforms (print, online using a desktop or laptop computer, smartphone or tablet). This research is designed to address the following issues: What are typical consumer behavior patterns regarding different local newspaper platforms? Why do readers go to newspaper media in general? Why do readers go to newspaper media on different platforms? How frequently do consumers read local newspapers on each platform? When and where? How many news brands do readers regularly follow on different media platforms? What content do readers seek on different newspaper platforms? How do newspaper media users make use of social media? What do mobile newspaper readers think of news apps vs. the mobile Web for reading newspaper coverage? How do digital newspaper readers respond to advertising on these platforms? What do digital newspaper readers think of online circulars vs. printed Sunday circulars? What design elements for current digital ads appeal to readers? The research was conducted online for the Newspaper Association of America by Frank N. Magid Associates Inc. of Minneapolis. Fieldwork was conducted from January 20 to February 1, Technical details appear in the appendix. 3 Newspaper Association of America

4 Overview Research presented here profiles past-week readers of local daily newspaper media platforms print plus the digital channels of computers, smartphones and tablets. Each platform has different usage characteristics and values for readers; however, they all share important daily newspaper brand benefits, including having advertising information that consumers act upon. Digital and mobile access drastically expands the range of typical newspaper usage occasions, with profound implications for newspaper brand marketing and for advertisers who now can reach these local news consumers in various contexts throughout the day. Multiplatform Usage Among the 8 in 10 adults who use the Internet, three-fourths (74 percent) read local daily newspapers on one or more of these channels in an average week, including: 60 percent reading print editions 48 percent reading any digital editions y 44 percent using a laptop or desktop computer y 19 percent using a smartphone y 9 percent using a tablet device (ipad or Android) (Usage estimates actually are conservative. For example, NAA s 2011 How America Shops and Spends survey found that 13 percent of adults not counted as readers in standard readership questions still consulted newspapers in the previous week for information relating to shopping information, entertainment planning, weather and the like.) Many readers use combinations of platforms: Each platform has different usage characteristics and values for readers; however, they all share important daily newspaper brand benefits, including having advertising information that consumers act upon. About one-third (34 percent) of adults read using both print and one or more digital platforms; One-fourth (26 percent) read the printed newspaper only; and One in 7 (14 percent) read only digital versions. More than half of newspaper readers use multiple platforms over the course of a week: 33 percent use two, 17 percent use three and 4 percent use all four. Demographically, these groups vary mainly by age (smartphone users are younger, while print-only users are older on average) and income (tablet owners are more affluent). Multiplatform newspaper reading is additive: Those using one platform average 3.7 days a week for that platform. Frequency increases at the same rate with each additional platform. These data illustrate the continuing importance of print for readers, the breadth of digital readership, especially as mobile expands, and the broad appeal of local newspaper brands. Media Environment: Local newspaper readers navigate a very crowded media environment for news and for other informational, leisure and social benefits. Most readers frequently multitask using several media; many combine news consumption with other activities. Even so, this research found that each newspaper 4

5 consumer follows a fairly organized routine for staying informed. Routines are framed by informational needs and the mix of platforms and brands consulted during particular times, days of the week and locations. Most consumers regularly make a point to consult a modest set of go-to news brands, which also may include television or radio brands and websites, national newspapers, pure-play Internet news sites, and regular news brands posting on Facebook and Twitter. The number of brands for regular checking typically is limited, averaging around four on tablets and fractionally less for computers or smartphones, although some readers have a much wider range. Making the consumer s list of go-to news sources is one of the fundamental challenges of newspaper marketing, but the print platform provides a strong starting point for the brand. Newspaper Media Values: Given the range of choices, why do consumers read local newspaper brands on any platform? Clearly, they are highly engaged by news. Two-thirds agree that keeping up with news is a very high personal priority. Historically, this attitude has strongly predicted newspaper reading. The addition of digital channels feeds this need, as those using tablets or both print and digital platforms are especially strong in this attitude. A 57 percent majority of mobile newspaper readers say they check news more often because they have these devices. From the survey, readers associate local daily newspapers in particular with six classes of benefits relating to platform utility, quality of information and traditional newspaper brand values, including: Broad but convenient and manageable aggregation of a wide range of information; Volume and quality of local news; Depth and detail in coverage; Useful advertising; Credibility and dependability; Ability to enjoy these benefits in whichever format is convenient. Aggressively promoting these differentiating brand values, especially to younger digital-only news consumers, is an obvious need for local newspapers. Given these general benefits, why do consumers read newspapers on different platforms? Each channel provides somewhat different functional and experiential qualities fitting some usage occasions better than others, depending on the individual user s needs and habits. Print newspapers offer a particularly satisfying and even relaxing reading experience. (One-half of readers strongly agree that they enjoy being able to hold a newspaper or book in their hands.) Secondarily, print is an easy way to get a complete news report, along with useful advertising that readers notice and seek out. For the computer newspaper platform, readers most often mention ease of using search to get further information, easy story sharing and ease of staying informed in different locations. Secondarily, they say this platform offers an easy way to get a complete news report and a satisfying reading experience. The reading experience for smartphones is less satisfying because of screen limitations, but portability makes them extremely convenient to use, especially while multitasking. Secondarily, smartphones make it relatively easy to share stories or to use the search function. 5 Newspaper Association of America

6 Finally, tablets (ipads or Android-based devices for this study) combine the great user experience of print, the portability of smartphones, and the search and sharing functionality of computers. Almost half of readers agree tablets are more for fun and relaxation than for work. Many also believe tablets give them more control over the screen than they have with computers or smartphones. Usage Occasions: The report itemizes local daily newspaper platform usage patterns for various situations and locations throughout the day. These findings explain the appeal noted earlier of being able to consume newspaper content whenever and wherever desired. Each platform is commonly used on multiple occasions. For example, scores for typical usage exceed 10 percent of users for at least eight out of 11 time frames for each platform. Readers, however, are selective, averaging two to three typical times or locations per platform. Those on multiple platforms may use one or the other in a particular time or place while some multitask with two or three. The top usage occasions vary among the four local newspaper platforms. For example, for tablets the top three periods in order are after dinner, just before bed and at home during the day. The top two locations by far are the living room/den and in bed. For smartphones, the largest numbers mention checking local newspapers at work or school, on breaks or at lunch, while the top locations are while waiting and in bed, at work and living room/den. Usage is fairly consistent over the five weekdays for each platform, excepting weekends. Print newspaper reading spikes upward on Sundays, while computer and smartphone platforms drop on Saturdays and even more on Sundays. Tablet usage is closer to flat across the entire week, which seems to result from a combination of positive user experience and numerous usage occasions. Content Interests: The survey also assessed content interests for each platform among newspaper readers. Aside from items commonly identified with particular platforms (e.g., videos, breaking news and weather for digital or circulars for print), content interests are mostly similar for print, computer and tablet channels. Leading news topics include local news, world news, U.S. news, local entertainment, sports, short news summaries and longer articles. Daily deals strongly appeal to about 4 in 10 digital readers. Smartphones are the exception, as their screens are small and they are built for extreme mobility and brief usage occasions. Leading topics by far are weather, breaking news, local news and short news summaries. Choices among multiple platforms depend on functionality and occasion. For example, those using both print and digital will look more to digital for breaking news and weather, while print readership for those topics is stronger for readers who are print only. Apps: One in 4 digital newspaper readers use special aggregator programs to organize their regular sources, while nearly all mobile platform users employ news apps. The user experience with newspaper-sourced apps is generally positive but there still is room for improvement and differentiation from mobile Web news sites an important consideration for those developing paid-content models. 6

7 Newspaper Digital Advertising Response NAA s 2011 How America Shops and Spends survey explored in some detail how consumers use print newspaper advertising in relation to other advertising formats. This study addresses newspaper digital platform advertising. The news here is that readers indeed respond. Online ads often work in concert with other types of advertising and it is useful to regard consumer engagement as a process. Some messages lead to a quick sale depending on the offer and the shopper s particular need at the time. Others may create awareness or suggest shopping ideas, reinforce brand concepts or spur the desire to look for more information in various ways. Two-thirds (66 percent) of our total sample of recent newspaper digital users (computer, smartphone, tablet) responded in various ways to ads on any of these platforms in the previous 30 days. Results are similar across demographic groups, including young people. Past 30-Day Response to Newspaper Digital Ads Any Digital Platform 66% Net any 56 Net became aware of product, service, sale, needed item 47 Net looked for more information by clicks, search, asking others 32 Net visited store online or in person 30 Net bought, decided to buy, where to buy 14 Referred ad to someone else Newspaper mobile users are active shoppers: eight in 10 report using their devices for various types of shopping activities. A similar question regarding ad response on newspaper mobile platforms yields only slightly lower results than those noted above. Tablet users are several points higher in nearly all categories as expected, given the attractive environment provided by that platform. Past 30-Day Response to Newspaper Mobile Ads Smartphone Tablet 59% 61% Net any Net became aware of product, service, sale, needed item Net looked for more information by clicks, search, asking others Net visited store online or in person Net bought, decided to buy, where to buy Referred ad to someone else Annoying? It is not news that much digital advertising by its nature can be rather obtrusive and unwelcome, largely because the user has limited control over the screen. About one-third of newspaper digital platform users rate the advertising as really annoying (about three times the number saying the same for print newspaper advertising). Notably, this opinion does not appear to affect newspaper digital advertising response, as those complaining about annoying ads are as likely as other readers to act upon newspaper digital advertising. 7 Newspaper Association of America

8 Ad Elements That Increase Engagement: Nevertheless, some digital ad design elements can increase the odds of reader response, according to survey respondents. They range in hierarchy from direct relevance to attention-getting ads that may or may not be highly relevant. Listed prices (cited by 54 percent of readers) along with sales or daily deals (48 percent) lead the list. They provide concrete information directly relevant for a purchase decision, along with bargains. Personal relevance drives attention, most directly when the ad is deemed relevant for people like me (47 percent of respondents). Other items imply relevance without guaranteeing it. These include promoting a local store (44 percent) and forms of behavioral targeting, including retargeting a store visited online recently (36 percent) or a product recently seen online (36 percent). At a lower level are ads that relate to a story you are reading (23 percent). Engaging describes the third category, with variable appeal. These include fun and entertaining ads (cited by 36 percent), the ability to adjust the view or information provided, as in a within-app advertisement (20 percent), or being in a video (13 percent). Young adults (18-34) lead readers in this category of ad elements. Obtrusive ad elements also can increase the odds of noting, according to 16 percent to 23 percent of respondents. These include large ads, moving images, pop-ups and ads located at the top of the screen. Smartphone users note that pop-ups and large ads are hard to miss on their small screens. Online and Print Circulars Circulars provide a different advertising experience, as readers have much more control compared to banners, pop-ups or video pre-rolls. NAA s How America Shops and Spends studies document the special appeal of this format. This Multiplatform Usage Study found that circulars are reliably among the highest-read content categories (e.g., 82 percent usage by Sunday print readers), and their appeal carries across demographic categories. Digital circulars also are widely used, netting 73 percent from our newspaper reader sample over a 30-day period. Most online circulars are sourced via store websites (43 percent of total sample) or (38 percent). Newspaper websites (14 percent) and specialty sites (9 percent) have much less reach in this distribution. Mobile newspaper platform users most often access online circulars from computers, although many also use mobile devices. Tablet users lead other platforms, with 82 percent reading online circulars; they are more likely than other device users to get circulars from newspaper websites (30 percent). Online circular usage appears to be increasing, but digital circular users especially women still prefer print versions by a 2-to-1 margin (48 percent vs. 25 percent) simply because they are mostly easier to use, especially for coupons. The only consensus operational advantage for digital is ease of comparing products and prices. Digital users strongly favor newspaper preprints for ease in dealing with coupons (64 percent) and portability when shopping (62 percent). Ease of scanning (44 percent) and general ease of use (47 percent) also favor print. The two platforms are about the same for ease of finding things and having preferred stores. Circulars provide a different advertising experience, as readers have much more control compared to banners, pop-ups or video pre-rolls. NAA s How America Shops and Spends studies document the special appeal of this format. 8

9 Newspaper Platform Users U.S. local daily newspapers reach their readers through a mix of print and digital platforms and with multiple brands for general and specialized audiences. This report considers weekday and Sunday print general-interest newspapers as found in weekday and Sunday print editions, as well as websites and apps through desktop or laptop computers, smartphones and tablets. The largest set of readers uses both digital and print platforms over the course of a week, but sizeable groups are print only or digital only. We profile their distributions and demographic characteristics in this chapter. Platform Distribution: The main part of this study focuses on U.S. adults (age 18+) who read or looked at some combination of platforms for their local daily newspaper over the seven days prior to the survey interview. A supplementary survey enables us to size these groups in the general population. Print includes either the weekday or Sunday editions of the respondent s local daily newspaper. Six in 10 adults read print in the previous week. Among online options, 44 percent of adults read the local daily newspaper s website in the past seven days from a desktop or laptop computer. One-fifth (19 percent) did the same using a smartphone (defined as iphone, Android or BlackBerry). A smaller group (9 percent) used an ipad or Android-based tablet for this purpose (e-readers are not counted here). This leaves 14 percent as incremental reach provided by digital versions of the local newspaper. The local newspaper digital audience obviously is substantial, but there is room to grow. Presently, various sources estimate that around 46 percent of adults have smartphones and 19 percent have tablets (not counting e-readers). Both segments are growing rapidly. 9 Newspaper Association of America

10 The table below breaks down the sample by reader composition and total U.S. adults. Tables that follow are based on the primary sample of newspaper platform users. Sample Composition: Local Daily Newspaper Media Platform (Past 7-day Users) Reader Sample Total Internet Adults Net any 100% 74% Weekday or Sunday printed edition % Print Digital version from desktop or laptop Digital version using smartphone % Digital Digital version using tablet 12 9 Print only Print + digital Combinations Digital only Base: print and digital newspaper reader sample and total U.S. adults with Internet access (80%) Multiple Platforms: Because we have four platforms, users may live with different combinations of one, two, three or four of them as shown in the next table. This mix will continue to evolve as more consumers purchase smartphones and/or tablets and use them to read newspaper media. Note that we used a seven-day time frame for reference in this study. A 30-day period would have yielded higher numbers for multiple platforms, although usage would be less regular on average. This was deliberate in order to focus on regular users who account for most audience traffic. The path for most, but certainly not all newspaper media users, is to go from print to computer to smartphone to tablet. Among those who read their local newspaper by tablet, only half also use a smartphone for this purpose. We did not explore reasons for this choice pattern, but anecdotally it appears that some consumers find tablets generally satisfy their mobile needs. Also, reader satisfaction with newspapers on smartphones trails that for other platforms. Some 80 percent of the weekly newspaper media audience reads the print edition, which remains the strongest promoter of its digital brand extensions. The 20 percent digital-only share of the audience has grown over the past few years, but remains a challenge for the industry. This group lacks a strong relationship with the print brand and tends to have a somewhat less intense interest in public affairs news compared to traditional print newspaper readers. Some 46 percent of respondents use only one newspaper platform. Three-fourths of them employ print, while most of the rest read on a computer. Smartphones become significant at 20 percent among the one-third who use two platforms. One in 6 (17 percent) use three platforms, with 77 percent on smartphones and 32 percent on tablets. Only 4 percent of newspaper media users employ all four platforms over the course of seven days. Past-Week Usage by Number of Newspaper Platforms Total Sample If Use One (46%) If Use Two (33%) If Use Three (17%) If Use Four (4%) Print 80% 72% 84% 93% 100% Computer Smartphone Tablet Base: total sample of newspaper media users 10

11 The following tables profile the four sample groups. Smartphone users are notably younger than average, with 53 percent in the 18-to-34 age group. The print audience skews somewhat older compared to the overall average, but not drastically so. (Those using print only have an older age profile, as expected.) Tablet users are the most affluent, as we would expect, with average household incomes of $82,700. From an early-adopter-scaled question, 8 percent of our sample is usually among the very first to try new technologies, while another 31 percent is not the first but earlier than most. The net of 39 percent is shown below. Smartphone and (especially) tablet newspaper users are well above the norm. The 33 percent of respondents who read the local newspaper in the past week in print only are a bit older and slightly more affluent compared to those also using digital versions. The 20 percent who use only digital newspaper platforms are much younger, with 48 percent who are in the 18-to-34 group compared to 24 percent for the all-print segment. (Note: The print-only profile does not include readers among the 20 percent or so of U.S. adults who do not use the Internet.) Almost half (47 percent) of respondents used both print and digital in the previous week. They are midway between the other two segments in age and income. Demographics of Newspaper Platform Users Total Print (80%) Computer (60%) Smartphone (26%) Tablet (12%) Men 50% 50% 53% 55% 50% Women <$50, $50,000-$74, $75,000-$99, $100, Mean income 75.3K 76.1K 73.4K 71.3K 82.7K Have children at home 32% 31% 32% 37% 33% Hispanic African-American Early and faster-thanaverage adopters Base: total sample of newspaper media users 11 Newspaper Association of America

12 The next table breaks down the sample into three segments based on combinations of print vs. digital platforms considered together. Demographics of Newspaper Platform Users (continued) Total Print only (33%) Print + Digital (47%) Digital only (20%) Men 50% 45% 53% 50% Women <$50, $50,000-$74, $75,000-$99, $100, Mean income 75.3K 78.8K 74.2K 72.0K Have children at home 32% 31% 32% 34% Hispanic African-American Early and faster-thanaverage adopters Base: total sample of newspaper media users 12

13 The News Environment Newspaper platform users are strongly engaged in the news while functioning in a crowded media environment involving media multitasking, multiple news brands and social media. News Engagement: Several attitude statements illustrate the news mindset of newspaper platform users. Eight in 10 say they choose local news sources based on credibility and reliability. Elsewhere, we report that they view local news and coverage quality as particular newspaper strengths. Two-thirds say that keeping up with the news daily is a high priority and 34 percent strongly agree with this value. They comprise the core of the newspaper audience. Those using tablets or using both print and digital local newspaper platforms are above average on this value. Almost two-thirds agree their news consumption has increased after starting to use mobile devices. As we see later, mobile phones and tablets expand the range of usage occasions compared to computers and print. Six in 10 at least somewhat agree they make a point of checking news soon after waking up in the morning. This is higher for those using multiple newspaper platforms. It can be hard to avoid the news, but 27 percent strongly agree they try to do that at certain times of the day and 53 percent agree they do so at least somewhat. In pre-survey focus groups, some cited early evening as family time when media are turned off, and some mentioned other times of the day or weekends. Digital device usage typically drops off on weekends. What drives frequent news checking, besides following a big existing news story? Having the ability to do so, as 57 percent who look at newspapers on mobile devices say they check news more often than before for that reason. Respondents using three newspaper platforms weekly have a larger number of usage occasions compared to those with one or two. Another expression of this is from 50 percent of smartphone users, who strongly agree that they frequently check their devices to avoid boredom while they are not busy with something else. A strong motivation for 24 percent of respondents is the desire not to be the last to know when some big event has happened. One focus group participant cited the 9/11 terrorist attacks as imprinting this mindset for him. 13 Newspaper Association of America

14 QUESTION: Please rate how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. News Engagement Attitudes (% Strongly Agree) I am checking news more often than before because of having portable electronic devices. I choose local news sources based on how credible and reliable they are. Keeping up with the news daily is a very high priority for me. I make a point to check the news very soon after I wake up in the morning. I make a point of turning off or getting away from the news at certain times of the day. I check news at various times of the day because I don t want to be the last to know about some big event. Base: total base of past-week newspaper platform users **mobile device users 57%** Higher for men and 18-34s Higher for tablet users and those using print and online Increases sharply with age; tablet users strong Higher for multiple digital device users 27 Flat for all groups 24 Higher for mobile device users Multiple News Brands: News consumers use multiple brands across various electronic and print platforms; this is only to be expected. Each platform works differently and may fit different usage occasions more or less well. Consumers vary in how many news brands per platform they use on a regular basis based on their personal inclinations. Most have fairly limited choice sets, while some look further afield. We are particularly concerned about digital platforms, as the choice among daily printed newspapers usually is limited. Past-week users of newspaper digital platforms note how many online sources they check regularly, with averages ranging from 3.4 for smartphones to 4.0 for tablets. One-fifth of smartphone users and one-third of tablet users are higher, ranging from five to 11 or more regular news sites. Users may encounter many news brands through search or some news aggregators with varying sources (such as Google News), but this mode of consumption is different from following particular websites. Accordingly, getting on a reader s short list of frequent digital brands is a key marketing and content issue. QUESTION: About how many different news websites (from any source), news apps or related sources do you regularly check or follow on your: Mean Number of News Websites Regularly Checked or Followed Tablet 4.0 Online by computer 3.7 Smartphone

15 Multitasking: We did not attempt to itemize usage of other media in detail, but it is clear these consumers are quite active with the various media available. A prime example: Some 45 percent of respondents say they watched cable TV news in public places, such as airports or elevators, in the past week. Among other media: 69 percent watch late local news on TV (9 p.m. or later) 64 percent watch local TV news between 6 and 9 a.m. 60 percent listen to radio news while commuting 38 percent read a national newspaper online, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or USA TODAY Newspaper platform users regularly multitask with different media. Half say they do this daily, while twothirds do so at least several days weekly. Digital users are active, especially those with mobile devices, as 8 in 10 of the latter multitask frequently over the course of each week. QUESTION: How often do you multitask, using combinations of newspaper, tablet, smartphone, computer, TV and radio at the same time? Multitasking Frequency by Newspaper Platform Users Total Print Computer Smartphone Tablet Practically every day 50% 49% 55% 62% 62% Several days a week or more often Base: total sample of newspaper media users News obviously can be a segment of one s divided attention. Two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents agree at least somewhat that they usually check for news while also doing other things, and 34 percent strongly agree. Mobile device users also lead other respondents here. As discussed later in this report, mobile devices excel precisely because of their enhanced versatility in different usage situations. Social Media: Another expression of multitasking often can be with social media. Digital newspaper platform users are active here, as 78 percent belong to Facebook, 30 percent to LinkedIn, 27 percent to Twitter and 18 percent to Google+, for a net of 85 percent. Those using social networks estimate that on average they are connected to 286 people. This skews young, ranging from 434 connections on average for the 18-to-34 age group to 219 for 35-44, 194 for and 100 for those 65 and older. Digital newspaper platform users also look for and share news on social media sites, as summarized in the following table. Reading posted news stories leads, with half reporting this activity. Around one-third report reading stories on Facebook rather than going to the originating news site. Similar numbers share or post stories on social sites. A smaller group (around one-fifth) reports following particular news brands or journalists on social media sites, which suggests that news organizations have work to do in getting credit for their brands on this channel. Around one-third of digital platform users follow retail store or product brands on social sites. Twitter reading or posting is highest among smartphone users, as they tend to be younger. 15 Newspaper Association of America

16 QUESTION: Which of the following, if any, have you done in the past seven days on or with a social network site? Check all that apply. Social Media Activities by Digital Newspaper Users in Past 7 Days Computer Smartphone Tablet Net news-related 62% 66% 67% Read news stories posted on the social network site Shared or posted news stories on a social media site Read a news story on Facebook rather than going directly to the news website Followed a particular news brand or journalist on a social media site Net store/product 30% 33% 36% Followed a particular retail store brand on a social media site Followed some other type of consumer product on a social media site Net Twitter 24% 37% 33% Read a Twitter posting Posted something on Twitter Base: past 7-day digital newspaper platform users Aggregator Programs: One-fourth (25 percent) of digital newspaper platform users and 31 percent of tablet users say they regularly use special aggregator programs or apps to organize multiple news sources on the screen. These programs include Google Current (14 percent), Pulse (7 percent), Flipboard (6 percent) and Zite (3 percent). 16

17 The Appeal of Multiple Newspaper Platforms Readers associate newspaper brands in general with several overall benefits relating to content, functionality and credibility. They also make distinctions among newspapers on different platforms that explain the different appeal of each. Why Newspaper Brands? Before we review why consumers look to particular newspaper platforms, we should consider why they use newspaper media in general. Respondents rated statements culled from focus group interviews, and it is clear the appeal is multifaceted. The top-rated benefit is the ability to read newspaper media in whichever format is convenient, strongly noted by 60 percent of respondents and generally agreed to by 9 in 10. This is no small thing, as later in this report we review the numerous occasions, times and locations when readers want to check the local newspaper in various digital or print formats. Another class of responses relates to news content and brand values. Particularly important is the aggregation function (86 percent generally agree and 56 percent feel strongly), or bringing together a broad range of information that can be easily reviewed. Newspapers are not constrained by the linear presentation format of television or radio, so readers can acquire much more information in a shorter period of time. This is a convenience and usability benefit anchored by strong and credible content. Depth and detail in coverage also attracts readers across platforms, as 80 percent generally associate this benefit with newspapers and 48 percent strongly agree. A third and rather crucial news-related benefit is in providing the most local news (58 percent strongly agree and 86 percent generally agree). This reflects both the larger news staffs typical of local newspapers compared to other media and also the aggregation format noted previously. Advertising also functions as content. Sunday circulars clearly drive readership, as 69 percent of newspaper media users say they make a point of looking at them and 53 percent strongly agree with this point. A broader value is having more useful advertising, noted by 61 percent of respondents. (NAA s How America Shops and Spends studies reviewed the value of newspaper advertising content in some depth.) 17 Newspaper Association of America

18 QUESTION: Please rate these statements as reasons why you choose to read newspapers in any format, whether in print, online, tablets or smartphones, as opposed to other news sources. Why Newspapers on Any Platform I like to follow the local newspaper in whichever format is convenient for me. Newspapers provide a broad range of news and information in one place. Agree Strongly Agree Benefit 89% 60% When and where I want Aggregation Newspapers provide more local news Local I want the depth and detail that newspapers provide Depth I make a point of looking at the Sunday circulars Newspapers provide more useful advertising Information in newspapers is dependable Newspapers are more careful in how they present the news The local newspaper is the best source available where I live Base: total sample Results shown are 4-6 ratings (agree) on a 1-6 agreement scale or 5-6 ratings (strongly agree). Advertising Credibility Credibility is the fourth general benefit, with strong majorities of readers generally agreeing that information in newspaper media is dependable and also more carefully presented compared to other sources. (These credibility characteristics were consistently noted in focus groups conducted in the first stage of this research and they were corroborated in this survey.) Credibility is complicated and may derive from different characteristics. One clearly is the value of the news brand and associations in consumers minds developed over a long period of time through highquality reporting, writing and validation from other sources. On the other hand, part of the essence of digital reporting is that stories often are open-ended. One-third of respondents and 42 percent of mobile platform users indicated that frequent updates help make online news more credible for me. The next table breaks down the same items by three newspaper platform groups showing general agreement scores. Ratings do not vary much across groups except that digital-only readers are less positive on the two advertising-related items, as they have less exposure to printed newspaper ads, including Sunday circulars. They also are mostly less positive when we target the strong agreement ratings, which also is not surprising as their exposure is less, especially compared to those who read both print and online versions regularly. A notable exception is wanting the ability to follow the local newspaper in whichever format is convenient, which is quite flat across all groups. 18

19 QUESTION: Please rate these statements as reasons why you choose to read newspapers in any format, whether in print, online, tablets or smartphones, as opposed to other news sources. Why Newspapers on Any Platform? I like to follow the local newspaper in whichever format is convenient for me. Newspapers provide a broad range of news and information in one place. Read Print Only Read Print + Digital Read Digital Only 89% 88% 91% Newspapers provide more local news I want the depth and detail that newspapers provide I make a point of looking at the Sunday circulars Newspapers provide more useful advertising Information in newspapers is dependable Newspapers are more careful in how they present the news The local newspaper is the best source available where I live Base: total sample Results shown are 4-6 ratings (agree) on a 1-6 agreement scale. Newspaper Platform Benefits Each newspaper platform provides a somewhat different user experience based on functionality and circumstances of typical usage situations. This section analyzes 10 reader benefits. Users of each platform rated them on a 1-to-6 agreement scale. Strong agreement scores (5-6 ratings) are shown. Print: Top-rated print benefits relate to personal feelings evoked. Print is a relaxing way to read the newspaper (66 percent) and provides a satisfying reading experience (61 percent). For some readers, sitting in a comfortable place and reading is a reward or time out. Some focus-group respondents also explained that reading on a computer or smartphone takes more effort, as one has to sit at a desk with a mouse or strain to see and operate a small screen. (Of course, for others, a screen now is the more natural way to read.) A potential digital distraction is the ease of following links to other pages and stories. Four in 10 (37 percent) of respondents strongly agree they usually are more focused when reading a print newspaper than online because there are fewer things to distract them. At a strong but somewhat lower level is a usability benefit (45 percent). Print newspapers provide an easy way to get a complete view of the news. As one respondent noted, print newspapers are finite and manageable for that reason, while digital by its nature always is open-ended. Print users also rate highly the utility of print advertising (44 percent) and that they usually notice it (41 percent). Conversely, only 12 percent say print newspapers have really annoying advertising. Obtrusiveness predicts annoyance: Some 46 percent of respondents also strongly agree that advertising in print newspapers is less obtrusive compared to online ads. 19 Newspaper Association of America

20 QUESTION: Newspapers are available to readers in different formats. Please rate how well the statements describe printed newspapers, in your experience. Print Newspaper Platform Benefits Is a relaxing way for me to read the newspaper 66% Provides a satisfying reading experience for me 61 An easy way to get a complete view of the news 45 Has useful advertising 44 I usually notice the advertising 41 Easy format for sharing stories with others 32 Makes it easy to stay informed no matter where I go 30 Easy platform for using search for further information 20 Has really annoying advertising 12 Base: past-week local newspaper print platform users Results shown are 5-6 ratings (strongly agree) on a 1-6 agreement scale. Desktop or Laptop Computers: A different mix of usability benefits from the same list leads for computer screens. Six in 10 or more strongly agree this platform is easy for using search to seek further information; that it is an easy format for sharing stories with others; and that it makes it easy to stay informed no matter where I go. The latter surely relates to laptops, which have outsold desktops for some time. About half (49 percent) rate it an easy way to get a complete view of the news, while almost as many say it provides a satisfying reading experience. QUESTION: Newspapers are available to readers in different formats. Please rate how well the statements describe newspapers on a desktop or laptop computer. Desktop or Laptop Computer Platform Benefits Easy platform for using search for further information 64% Easy format for sharing stories with others 61 Makes it easy to stay informed no matter where I go 61 An easy way to get a complete view of the news 49 Provides a satisfying reading experience for me 45 Is a relaxing way for me to read the newspaper 42 Has really annoying advertising 36 I usually notice the advertising 26 Has useful advertising 20 Base: past-week local newspaper computer platform users Results shown are 5-6 ratings (strongly agree) on a 1-6 agreement scale. 20

21 Smartphones: This platform is all about mobility, as 68 percent of those using it for local newspaper content cite this benefit. In the next chapter, we will see that smartphones are regularly used in more places than other devices. Secondary benefits are ease of story sharing (48 percent) and easy search for further information (45 percent). Users seem to agree that extreme mobility is worth trading off other usability benefits, which are further down the list. Only 30 percent rate it as a satisfying reading experience. QUESTION: Newspapers are available to readers in different formats. Please rate how well the statements describe newspapers on a smartphone. Smartphone Platform Benefits Makes it easy to stay informed no matter where I go 68% Easy format for sharing stories with others 48 Easy platform for using search for further information 45 Has really annoying advertising 35 An easy way to get a complete view of the news 35 Is a relaxing way for me to read the newspaper 31 Provides a satisfying reading experience for me 30 I usually notice the advertising 24 Has useful advertising 17 Base: past-week newspaper smartphone platform users Results shown are 5-6 ratings (strongly agree) on a 1-6 agreement scale. Tablets: Those reading local newspapers on this platform are the most positive overall, with six of the nine benefits rated from 57 percent to 68 percent. Tablets are a hybrid combining several of the virtues of print (relaxing, a satisfying reading experience and a complete view of the news), computers (easy format sharing, easy search) and smartphones (easy to stay informed no matter where I go). Tablets have the potential to provide a particularly strong environment for advertising, but they are not there yet. Only 14 percent strongly agree that advertising on tablets is more interesting than the ads I see elsewhere online. 21 Newspaper Association of America

22 Other evidence of the transitional nature of tablets comes from four other survey ratings, for which there is no significant variation among respondent groups. Fifty-eight percent of users a majority strongly agree their tablets often are a substitute for their regular computer. (Some 86 percent agree at least somewhat.) On the other hand, 46 percent say tablets are more for relaxation and fun than for work. Many have noted in industry discussions that tablets presently are better suited for consuming content than for creating content; these two items are consistent with that idea. Another usability advantage comes from the screen interface: 36 percent strongly agree that compared to computers or phones, tablets enable me to be more in control of what is on the screen. One-third (31 percent) say they are more likely to finish a story when reading on a tablet than when reading on a computer. This result is about the same as for a similar question comparing print newspapers with computers. QUESTION: Newspapers are available to readers in different formats. Please rate how well the statements describe newspapers on a tablet device. Tablet Platform Benefits Makes it easy to stay informed no matter where I go 68% Easy format for sharing stories with others 66 Easy platform for using search for further information 66 Is a relaxing way for me to read the newspaper 60 Provides a satisfying reading experience for me 60 An easy way to get a complete view of the news 57 Has really annoying advertising 33 I usually notice the advertising 31 Has useful advertising 27 Base: past-week newspaper tablet platform users Results shown are 5-6 ratings (strongly agree) on a 1-6 agreement scale. Summary: The next table puts the four newspaper platforms together and illustrates the particular benefit profiles of each platform while also showing how tablets combine many of the virtues of the other platforms. High satisfaction (5-6 rating on a 1-6 scale) with the reading experience is about the same for print and tablet newspapers (around 56 percent), with computers a few points behind (48 percent) and smartphones well behind at 32 percent. 22

23 Compared to print, digital platforms are less satisfactory for consumers for advertising content. This is not surprising, as many digital ads by their nature are more obtrusive while conveying limited information because of space limitations. The reader is less in control. On the other hand, this does not mean that newspaper digital advertising is ineffective, as we review in a later chapter. Platform Benefits Summary Print Computer Smartphone Tablet Is a relaxing way for me to read the newspaper 66% 42% 31% 60% Provides a satisfying reading experience for me An easy way to get a complete view of the news Has useful advertising I usually notice the advertising Easy format for sharing stories with others Makes it easy to stay informed no matter where I go Easy platform for using search for further information Has really annoying advertising Highly satisfied with reading experience Newspaper Association of America

24 Using Newspaper Platforms This chapter provides a detailed comparison of newspaper platform frequencies, usage situations and content consumed. Frequency: Respondents among platform groups noted which days of the week they usually read and the number they actually read in the past seven days. They average from 3.4 days for smartphones to 3.9 for computers, but patterns vary more than this narrow range suggests. The four platforms are additive in terms of newspaper platform usage frequency. Those using one platform average 3.7 days per week. This increases incrementally to 15.1 days for those using all four platforms. The print newspaper audience includes 36 percent who say they normally read only on Sundays. This has the impact of reducing the print frequency average significantly. Without them, newspaper frequency would be 4.3 days per week. Print newspaper reading otherwise shows the typical pattern of lower reach on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays, with the Sunday audience being far larger than other days. The weekday average net of newspapers via digital platforms (72 percent to 81 percent) exceeds the average for newspapers (61 percent). (Keep in mind that we are profiling past-week users, not estimating reach.) This seems to be a function of usage occasion patterns that are discussed later in this chapter. Computers and smartphones for newspapers fall off significantly on weekends. Tablets are a different story. Users give about the same scores for each day of the week, with only a slight decline for Sundays. This reflects the versatility for usage occasions that rival smartphones and a stronger user experience that combines some of the benefits of print and computer screens. These contribute to more time spent with leisure pursuits on tablets compared to the other platforms. The four platforms are additive in terms of newspaper platform usage frequency. Those using one platform average 3.7 days per week. This increases incrementally to 15.1 days for those using all four platforms. 24

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