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Newspapers and Readership Decline

New research from Adweek media and Harris Interactive has revealed some interesting information on newspaper readership in the US, with the majority of consumers surveyed stating they would not pay to read newspapers online, which could be a bit of a problem for Rupert Murdoch plans to block Googles access to free content and charge consumers to read his newspapers online.

Less than half (43%) of Americans say they read a daily newspaper, either online or in print almost everyday, according to a new report from Adweek Media and Harris Interactive.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of Americans say they read one at least once a week while 81 percent read a daily newspaper at least once a month. Ten percent say they never read a daily newspaper.


One reason for the decline of the daily newspaper is the aging of its audience. Among those aged 55 and older, 64 percent say they still read a daily newspaper almost everyday. Of those aged 45-54, 44 percent read a paper almost every day as do 36 percent of those aged 35-44. Just 23 percent of those aged 18-34 say they read a newspaper almost every day while 17 percent in this age group say they never read a daily newspaper.

One potential business model newspapers have considered is charging a monthly fee to read a daily newspaper’s content online. More than three-quarters (77%) of Americans say they would not be willing to pay anything to read a newspaper’s content online. While some are willing to pay, 19 percent would only pay between $1 and $10 a month for online content and only 5 percent would pay more than $10 a month.

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