Newspaper Research: Multigenerational Readership Is Lucrative Target For Advertisers

A Special Report

Today’s newspaper readers are an advertiser’s best prospects.

That’s because Americans of all ages — not just “old people” — read newspapers.

In addition, these discerning readers collectively are educated, active consumers who are ready to shop.

Those facts are among the major conclusions from a series of statewide-market studies conducted by Coda Ventures, an independent newspaper research and consulting firm based in Nashville, TN.

Coda Ventures aggregated recent market studies it conducted for seven newspaper trade associations. They are the Iowa Newspaper Association, the Kansas Press Association, the Louisiana Press Association, the New Mexico Press Association, the North Carolina Press Association, the North Dakota Newspaper Association and the Tennessee Press Association.

In all, the studies involved 4,251 respondents who were asked details about themselves and their newspaper use. The margin of error was plus or minus 1.5 percent. The research “quantified the demographic profiles and buying power of both print and digital newspaper readers for each of the associations,” said Marianne Grogan, president of Coda Ventures.

The upshot:

The collective results confirm that today’s newspaper readership is a lucrative target for advertisers marketing a wide variety of products and services, Grogan added.

Coda Ventures is a collaborative partner of The Relevance Project, having supplied the research behind the “15 Calls To Action” series that documented the power of newspaper ads to motivate readers to take actions that ultimately benefit advertisers.

Coda’s latest research is the subject of a new promotional series by The Relevance Project. This Relevant Point serves to elaborate on the conclusions and provide details about the results.

WHAT THE DEMOGRAPHICS SHOW:
Newspaper readers are educated, invested in their community and active consumers ready to shop, according to Coda’s research.

Five out of 10 — 54 percent — have a household income of $50,000 or more.

Nearly 7 out of 10 — 67 percent — own a home.

Nearly 8 out of 10 — 78 percent — attended or graduated from college.

Nearly 4 out of 10 — 38 percent — have children living at home. 

Note: The respondent makeup was 51 percent women and 49 percent male.

ALL AGES READ NEWSPAPERS:
We keep hearing that “only old people read newspapers.” That’s partly correct. Readers 65 and older are loyalists.

But junk the “only.”

Coda’s research shows the two other age categories collectively covering 18 to 64 are well represented.

Here are the numbers and related commentary:

*Three out of 10 newspapers readers — 30 percent — are in the 18-to- 34  age group. It’s no surprise that this group uses smartphones to access local news from all sources, including newspapers.  Credit newspapers for strategically pushing into digital as a way to reach new audiences. Newspapers now are improving digital initiatives focused on attracting new audiences with new products —   responsive websites that adjust to various screens, social media campaigns, easy-to-use apps, emailed newsletters, video, multimedia E-editions, digital niche offerings and more. 

*A whopping 5 out of 10 — 50 percent — are 35 to 64. This group is primarily composed of Generation X (born approximately between 1965 to 1980).  

According to the US Department of Labor, Gen Xers account for 27% of all US household spending and outspend all generations on housing, clothing, dining out and entertainment.  

They access news and information across a multitude of media platforms and comprise the largest segment of newspaper readership.

*The remaining two out of 10 — 20 percent — are 65 or older.  With this group, 75 percent believe that newspaper advertising is important.

According to Nielsen, an audience data and measurement firm, Boomers control 70 percent of all disposable income in the United States, making them a dominant financial force in the marketplace.

They always have been strong print newspaper readers, but they are also accessing content digitally. To reach the people who have the time and income to spend, astute advertisers are leveraging both print and digital newspapers.

OVERALL CONCLUSION:
Newspaper readership is multi-generational.

Coda Venture’s studies show these readers “access newspaper content, local news and advertising through a host of printed newspaper offerings (special sections, niche publication, etc.) and digital platforms, including websites, social media, e-newsletters, apps and more.” For the most part, they’re homeowners, educated and ready to shop for products and services.

That makes today’s newspaper readers an advertiser’s best prospects. 

SPECIAL THANKS:
We appreciate the seven noted newspaper press associations for sponsoring and sharing these studies that demonstrate the continued strength and importance of local newspapers.

We look forward to adding other associations’ market results to The Relevance Project’s Revenue Resource.

–The Relevance Project & Coda Ventures

Note: To download the related promotional campaign, go to the Revenue Resource section of The Relevance Project.

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