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New study: Consumers highly engaged with newspaper media content across platforms

Arlington, Va.–A new study shows that in an average week, 74% of all Internet users rely on local newspaper media – digital as well as print – as key sources of news and information, and are engaging with their local newspaper across multiple platforms.

Major findings of the survey show that among the large base of Internet users who engage with newspaper media, 54% are using more than one platform to access newspaper content in an average week. 67% use at least one of three common digital platforms – computers, smartphones or tablets – and they use each at multiple times over the course of the day for newspaper content. The study was conducted for the Newspaper Association of America by Frank N. Magid Associates of Minneapolis.

The research, presented last week at NAA mediaXchange 2012 in Washington, D.C., also looks at what motivates consumers to turn to newspaper media for their news needs. Top answers to the question "Why Newspapers?" illustrate core newspaper brand values, including convenience, the extensive range and depth of news and information, and the amount of local news:

"I like to follow the local newspaper in whichever format is convenient for me" – 89% for print-only readers, 88% for print + digital readers and 91% for digital-only readers;

"Newspapers provide a broad range of news and information in one place" – 90% for print-only readers, 85% for print + digital readers and 83% for digital-only readers;

"Newspapers provide more local news" – 89% for print-only readers, 84% for print + digital readers and 86% for digital-only readers;

"I want the depth and detail that newspapers provide" – 80% for print-only readers, 82% for print + digital readers and 73% for digital-only readers.

In addition to findings about news content, the survey demonstrates the strength and appeal of advertising in newspaper media: 

61% of digital newspaper media users act on digital ads;

61% of tablet users act on newspaper tablet ads, while 59% of smartphone users act on ads on that device;

73% have used newspaper printed circulars in the past 30 days, while 74% make a point of looking at printed Sunday circulars;

61% say that newspapers provide more useful advertising.

"This information gives us great insights into the drivers of engagement with newspaper media across platforms and shows that the enduring value of newspapers – depth, quality, quantity and dependability – extends to digital platforms as well," said Caroline Little, NAA president and CEO. "The study also demonstrates that advertisers can effectively reach a shopping audience across newspapers' multiple platforms.

"What's more, consumers are accessing newspaper content throughout the day on different platforms," Little added. "In fact, almost two-thirds of mobile newspaper readers agree their news consumption has increased after starting to use mobile devices. Clearly, newspapers' embrace of multiplatform strategies provides significant opportunities for audience and revenue growth."

The study notes similarities between newspaper print readers and tablet users:

·         61% of print users and 60% of tablet users agree that their respective platform "is a relaxing way for me to read the newspaper";

·         61% of print and 60% of tablet users say newspapers "provide a satisfying reading experience for me";

·         45% of print and 57% of tablet users say newspapers are "an easy way to get a complete view of the news."

Tablet users particularly value that device for newspaper content for its ability to make sharing stories, staying informed on the go and searching for more information easier.

"Consumers recognize the value newspapers deliver in today's digital world, and as adoption of broader digital habits take hold, they remain actively engaged with newspaper content across platforms," Little said. "At the same time, newspapers are innovating and embracing digital technologies to grow their audiences across these platforms."

Results of the 2012 Newspaper Multiplatform Usage Study can be found at http://www.naa.org/Topics-and-Tools/Miscellaneous/Research/2012/Newspaper-Multiplatform-Usage.aspx.

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