Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America.[/caption]
It appears that the print/digital divide seems to be related not just to age, but also the type of information someone is consuming. Why?
When it comes to reading preferences, books and magazines are a clear winner over other paper products. Seventy-three percent say books and magazines are more enjoyable to read in print versus digital options, with minor differences between age groups. Sixty-one to sixty-six percent prefer print to digital when reading books, magazines and newspapers.
However, news consumption habits are changing and are also very age-related, with younger age groups preferring digital news to print. The frequency at which print magazines and newspapers are read also decreases with decreasing age, with younger respondents reading more digitally.
There is a clear preference for print when it comes to products like mailed statements from banks, utilities, etc., especially among older respondents. In fact, 76 percent said they are increasingly concerned that their personal digital information is at risk of being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged.
How are publishers reacting?
I am not a publisher, but I can see that print still commands a very good return on investment when it comes to advertising. It’s very hard to ignore a well-designed and impactful ad when you are flipping through a magazine or newspaper. You can’t simply delete it, as many of us do on our electronic devices.
Seventy percent of respondents said they find online ads annoying and usually irrelevant, and 71 percent stated they do not pay attention to most online ads. On the print side, ad mail delivered to homes is read by 60 percent or more of respondents at least once per week, with 55 percent saying they would be more likely to take action after seeing an ad in a printed magazine or newspaper than if they saw it online.
There also are other opportunities for print. Compared to digital, print provides a more emotional connection with the reader, allowing a deeper understanding of and engagement with the written word. This is due to haptic feedback — the touch and feel of paper — and the fact that there is no artificial light or distracting pop-up notifications. This uncluttered aspect of print has value in our current world of endless digital information bombardment.