Posts Tagged ‘older newspaper readers’

Older readers moving to social media

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Newspapers’ reliance on older readers may be yet another false assumption. A study by IBM’s Media and Entertainment group says older readers are moving to social media for news and information, just like younger adults and teens.

Readership of newspapers online fell by 10 percent in 2009, according to IBM’s white paper, with the greatest loss in the 18-24 age range, says Dorian Benkoil at Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits blog.  Use of digital media increased overall, led by older consumers, who accounted for the largest percentage increases in the use of social media.

“The implications are important for those in the news business, and illustrate that newspapers may have less time than they were counting on to figure out how to succeed online,” Benkoil writes.

Karen Feldman, global lead for the media and entertainment group and one of the survey’s lead authors, told Benkoil that “The only digital media category where I saw erosion year over year was online newspapers,” from roughly 64 percent in 2008 who said they had viewed a newspaper online, to 54 percent in 2009.

The study found that “the only group in which there was significant growth” in online newspaper readership “was people older than 55.”

But, if the rest of the study’s findings depict the evolution of consumers’ use of online resources, even the oldest readers are temporary customers on their way to social media.