March 17, 2011

Online Newspapers Gain on Print

17 vs. 26

As the New York Times begins charging for access to its website, the gap between the number of Americans who read newspaper online and in print continues to narrow.

As the New York Times begins charging frequent users for access to its website, more and more readers are looking to the internet for their news. Print newspapers have seen continued decline in their daily readership – in September 2010, 26% of U.S. adults reported reading a print paper on any given day compared with 38% as recently as 2006. The decline spans all age groups. Looking at all Americans under age 50, the share reading a print newspaper on a given day has fallen by nearly half, from 29% in 2006 to 15% today. Among those ages 50 and older, print newspaper readership fell from 50% to 40% over the same time period. Meanwhile, online newspaper readership has grown, though not enough to counterbalance the print decline. Currently, 17% of Americans say they read a newspaper online yesterday or visited a newspaper website. This is up from 13% in 2008 and 9% in 2006, but is still lower than the 26% who read the newspaper in print. However, adults under age 50 are now more likely to read newspapers online (19% do so, on average) than in print (15%). The online rate falls off among those ages 65 and older because fewer use the internet. Among seniors who use the internet, 17% read a newspaper online the day before they were surveyed; that is comparable to the percentage of those under 65 who are online and read a newspaper (21%). Read More