Consumer Media Use Shifting from Traditional Newspapers/Magazines

If over half of consumers are now getting most of their news online, what can traditional media companies expect for the future? Most consumers say that within 10 years we will no longer be picking up a printed newspapers to get our information, nor will we be tuning into the network news. This was one of the key findings from a HarrisInteractive poll on the topic of news consumption.

Interestingly, while consumers believe that traditional media will no longer exist in 10 years, they also display the following opinions:

  • Though in decline, there will always be a need for newspapers in print: 81%
  • Prefer to get news through traditional network TV and/or printed magazines and newspapers: 67%
  • Occasionally/Always tune into local TV news: 76%
  • Occasionally/Always read local newspapers: 69%
  • Occasionally/Always tune into network TV news: 66%

On the surface, the numbers look promising for traditional media. But the changes in media use over the past year provide a clear picture of a downward trend for some traditional formats. Surveyed consumers reported that they have increased (decreased) the time they spent with the following media formats significantly or somewhat in the past year:

  • Visiting online news/information sites 28% (8%)
  • Listening to radio 19% (19%)
  • Reading newspapers online 17% (8%)
  • Watching cable TV news 17% (11%)
  • Watching network TV news 14% (13%)
  • Reading magazines in print 13% (16%)
  • Reading newspapers in print 11% (15%)

HarrisInteractive analysts note that more people decreased than increased the time they spent reading print newspapers and magazines. In addition, younger consumers are far more likely to use online resources to access news and entertainment options. The findings in this survey underscore the results reported  by other research shops.  The future for the online world looks bright. To ensure revenue growth, media companies must shift some of their offerings online to capture consumer attention and marketing dollars.

[Source: Troubles for Traditional Media. HarrisInteractive​.com. 28 Oct. 2010. Web. 3 Nov. 2010]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.