Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Good article from Adam Penenberg at Wired News (separate but related graphic i found below):

Publishers of newspapers and magazines like to corral readers when they're young. If you can shape kids' info-seeking habits when they're in their teens or twenties, so the thinking goes, you'll nab them for life.

Because brand loyalty isn't just about offering the best product for the best price, as it is with, say, minivans or socket wrenches. It's also about image: Are you a New York Times guy or a Washington Post aficionado? Do you read The Wall Street Journal, The Economist or Fortune? Do you subscribe to Newsweek or Time? Is Wired more than the way you feel after a double espresso at Starbucks? Your choice says a lot about you.

From the perspective of publishers, the 18- to 34-year-old demographic is highly prized by advertisers -- the people who make writing, editing and working at a newspaper or magazine a vocation, not just an avocation (like it is for most bloggers.) But there is trouble afoot. The seeds have been planted for a tremendous upheaval in the material world of publishing.

Young people just aren't interested in reading newspapers and print magazines. In fact, according to Washington City Paper, The Washington Post organized a series of six focus groups in September to determine why the paper was having so much trouble attracting younger readers. You see, daily circulation, which had been holding firm at 770,000 subscribers for the last few years, fell more than 6 percent to about 720,100 by June 2004, with the paper losing 4,000 paying subscribers every month.

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