The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Some good news for newspapers, for a change: Their readers tend to be more affluent and educated, on average. All the pretty numbers below:

Mediamark Research Inc. and Interactive Market Systems Inc. recently released a report prepared by NAA Business Analysis & Research Department that reveals 99.9 million adults (18+) in the U.S. read an average issue of a daily newspaper. And, on Sunday, 116 million readers nationwide read an average issue.

Income has always played an important role in segmenting newspaper audiences. Readership increases steadily with higher earnings. Among adults with household incomes of $75,000+, readership stands at 57% on weekdays and 66% on Sundays vs the national average of 48% and 56% respectfully.

Slightly more than half of all men (51%) read an average issue of a daily newspaper, followed by 46% of women who read a daily newspaper. Higher percentages of both genders read a Sunday newspaper, with men at 56% and women at 57%.

60% of adults who graduated college or more read a weekday paper and 67% do so on Sundays. Five daily issues reach 78% of adults who graduated college or more. In general, people in occupations with more job responsibility also show stronger readership of newspapers. 56% of Executives, Managers, or Administrators read a daily newspaper, and 66% do so on Sundays.

Forty-nine percent of whites read a daily newspaper, compared to 43% of African-Americans, 37% of Asians, and 29% of adults of Spanish/Hispanic origin. On Sunday, the reach among racial/ethnic newspaper readers is 57%, 58%, 42%, and 39% respectively.

I take these results to mean that the higher up you are on the socio-economic ladder, the more likely you are to want to intake different forms of news and media, since these same numbers largely apply to the most plugged-in media consumers as well. This suggests that format, while important, isn't the only consideration when choosing news and media sources.

These specific results will help papers in their pitches to advertisers, as they can point to some pretty coveted demographics in their readership.