ARTICLE: For audience engagement, print is still king

Untitled by klimkin, licence CC0 1.0

Audiences to United Kingdom’s largest news brands still overwhelmingly consume their news via print, Neil Thurman, of both Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and University of London, discovered. Thurman used a novel combination of audience data to compare the time spent with different news brands and delivery platforms. Eleven of UK’s largest newspaper brands were accounted for.

In total, 89 per cent of the brands’ reading is still carried by “dead trees”, while mobile devices -although on the rise- account for only 7 per cent of time spent with the brands. Desktop browsing, then, is left only with a paltry 4 per cent share, the author found.

Interesting is also the papers’ ranking according to time spent with them. The Daily Mail was found to dominate the field with almost a 30 per cent share of all time spent with the eleven brands: its print version alone gathers thrice as much attention as does the entire Guardian brand.

The investigation also revealed differences in the papers’ relative online presence. Here, Guardian has the competition beat with over one-fourth of its reading minutes coming from online. Daily Mail, however, is not far behind, and with its massive overall reach it enjoys an online attention which easily surpasses the total attention brands such as the Daily Express or the Daily Star enjoy.

The article “Newspaper Consumption in the Mobile Age” was published by the journal Journalism Studies. Its version of record is available online from the publisher’s website (abstract free), and a pre-publication version from the authors website (open access).

Picture: Untitled by klimkin, licence CC0 1.0.

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