The vast majority of U.S. adults read newspaper media content across a range of technology platforms, according to an analysis of the newest data on media usage from Scarborough Research. And that includes 59% of Americans age 18-24, the youngest cohort of adults, a group many are skeptical ever think about newspaper content. Learn More
Media consumption trends continue to change rapidly, particularly by the increase today in mobile technology use. This SenseMaker Report by the Newspaper Association of America assesses the latest data on consumption from Scarborough Research, which surveys some 206,000 U.S. adults. Scarborough’s extensive population allows researchers to look at the audience of different media sources across platforms.
- The vast majority of U.S. adults, 164 million (69%), read newspaper media content in print or online in a typical week, or access it on mobile devices in a typical month.
- The majority (59%) of young adults, ages 18-24, read newspaper media content in print or online in a typical week, or access it on mobile devices in a typical month.
- The mobile newspaper audience is growing fast; up 58% in an average month in 2012 compared with 2011. That totals 34 million adults.
- The mobile audience skews young; the median age of an adult newspaper mobile user is 17 years younger than the print reader.
- Those who are newspaper mobile-exclusive—that is, those who access newspaper content on mobile devices only—are younger by four more years (with a median adult age of 33). That audience grew 83% in 2012 compared with a year ago.
- Overall, the total newspaper media audience in a typical week (excluding mobile) dipped 2% in 2012 from 2011, a change in line with television media and less than radio. When the mobile audience is included, through data that are collected monthly, the decline in total newspaper audience is cut by more than half to less than 1%.
These data points do not reflect the spike in sales for mobile devices in the past six months. It is likely that when new Scarborough data become available later in the year, the mobile component of the newspaper media audience will show continued growth.
Additional Readership Downloads
Newspaper Readership and Audience by Age and Gender (Updated March 2013)
Newspaper Readership and Audience by Education (Updated March 2013)
Newspaper Readership and Audience by Household Income (Updated March 2013)
Former Vice President of Research & Industry Analysis at News Media Alliance.