One article that caught my eye recently had the headline ‘The Richer You Are, The More You Read Print’ – you would think that in the multimedia age of laptops and ipads people with larger incomes would of course be reading it off the $2000 laptop rather than the paper that lines trash cans the next day.
Well apparently not. Statistics from the Ipsos MediaCT’s 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent Survey has shown that “82% of those with an annual household income of $100,000 or more are reading more print publications”.
So what does this say about newspapers? They are too expensive to buy? It is cheaper buying an electronic device and downloading news apps?
Lets look at Newsday, the Long Island daily newspaper. The print version costs $1 each day to purchase in a store and $1.50 for a weekly subscription, yet to get the full paper on your electronic device may it be your smartphone, laptop, ipad, tablet, whatever it costs a mere $1.15 a week with the first 4 weeks subscription free. Of course most online stories can be viewed for free also.
“About 43 percent of American adults say that they have either read a book or other long-form content (magazines, journals, or news stories) in the past year on an e-reader, a tablet, a computer or a cellphone.
And 28 percent of Americans own at least one device for e-reading, either a tablet or an e-reader. Not only that, but the people who read e-books, many of whom also read printed books, are reading more than ever, even more than people who read the old-fashioned way.“ (dailybeast.com)
The statistic that richer income households read more print has to have an effect on the paper. Take the New York Times for example, on page 3 Tiffanies and Co. has its usual advertisement space. Now, I read this paper most days but being a money saver student I grab it for free at the entrance to my block. Possibly if I had $2.50 each day to buy it I would pay attention to the expensive rings and watches featured in the Tiffanies advert. As for page 2, I also do not have enough spending money for a MaxMara leopard print handbag – but maybe one day when I can also afford the paper!
As for backing up the statistic, newspapers in print version are more expensive and do target their adverts to people with larger incomes but I do not think we can generalize the sales of print newspapers as it has such a diverse market irrelevant of their consumers financial status.
Can we say that rich people have more time on their hands so have the ability to sit down and read a print newspaper? No, so apart from the statistic, the slight more expense a print version costs, and the type of adverts featured in print newspapers we cannot say why people with a higher income like to read print newspapers.
There is the view that buying newspapers like The New York Times gives you luxury content and the best type of journalism however why wouldn’t someone with a lower income want this?
I think the subject is one that needs to be treated carefully, in case of offending anyone. However here is a blogger who is not afraid to offend newspaper readers across the nation! Click here if you want to hear thedailyeconomist.com’s views on who reads newspapers and why.