THE MISSING AUDIENCE?
For legacy news organizations, a big challenge is how to retool their services to appeal to 'millennials'
This is a sidebar to a longer piece found at the Reynolds Journalism Institute website.
Most observers of the fading of America's newspapers and broadcasters point to their inability to attract young audiences as one key weakness. Some insiders argue that the over-50 crowd remains prized -- for their influence and purchasing power. Without making a judgement about the relative value of the millennial audience, here are some useful links to consider it:
- In March, 2014, the Pew Research Center released a new study of 18-33-year-olds including six new findings. The new survey was analyzed by The Atlantic's Derek Thompson, under the headline: "Millennials deeply confused about their politics, finances and culture."
- Four years earlier, in March, 2010, the Pew Research Center gathered experts to discuss its findings about the Millennial generation including a panel discussion and an overview webpage. "American teens and twenty-somethings currently making the passage into adulthood – have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living," Pew wrote in summarizing its research.
- In April, 2013, McKinsey & Company principal Michael Lamb detailed at a conference the measured interests of younger consumers, a growing number of which are what he called "mobile centric." They want news everywhere they go, fast and continuous, and they like to see multiple points of view. He said they care about the design of news services, customization and personalization.
- In August, 2008, researcher Jack MacKenzie from Frank N. Magid Associates Inc., provided an overview of millennials to a group of editors gather to discuss the topic of news literacy. He said millennials were born between 1977 and 1996, smarter, more confident, optimistic and more collaboration than previous generations -- social networks eager to share news with friends. (VIEW MACKENZIE'S SLIDES)
- In February, 2009,an academic journal published research by Indiana University-Purdue University research Edgar Huang, Ph.D., who studied in detail the news-reading habits of 28 high-school and college students ages 16-30. He found relevancy and customizability were the most important things these consumers wanted. One of the respondents specifically sought "a news website that will learn and calculate how many times I hit on specific news. the web site will remember my interests in news and then rearrange the front page with the kind of news I enjoyed, whenever I visit the site."
- In 2007 and 2008, The Associated Press hired sociologists to undertake an ethnographic study of the news-consumption habits of millennials. Even seven years ago, they were found to be tired, even annoyed by the then-current experience of digital advertising and didn't trust it very much. TO THE STUDY DOCUMENT)
- Finally, PressReader, a company which for 15 years has been digitizing newspaper replicas for reading mostly by overseas users reported in a case study in December 2014 on the difference between old and younger readers. Interviewed for the World Association of Newspapers newsletter, PressReader Chief Content Officer Nikolay Malyarov said:
"There is a split between generations still loyal to the digital replicas of a publication, and younger readers, who are open to aggregated contents personalized to their interests. News brand recognition is still important, of course. But it decreases in the younger demographics, where the attitude to news consumption changes; it’s a more topic-driven consumption. The younger audience sees us as a source of premium content where the news can be tailored to specific subjects. But each of those pieces of content they will read when they filter per topic we link to the source -- so it still promotes the original newspapers and magazines."