10th Oct 2006, by Andrew Barr

Is Print Media Recovering From Web Assault? Could this be a Turning Point for Newspapers?

Interesting information from the well respected Jupiter Research Group this week who have carried out a comprehensive study of internet usage across the UK and Mainland Europe and its effect on print media.

They interviewed around 5000 people from each country to get an up to date understanding of how often people use the interent and it turns out that over the last two years the time spent surfing the net has increased from 2 to 4 hours per week.

Some analysts have said that this has come at the expense of time spent reading print media, but if you drill down into the stats you can see that this is not really the case. It would appear that for the first time in a number of years print media has retained its share of time spent being read meaning that the internet time is being made up elsewhere.

The real loser seems to be broadcast media with the time spent watching television having dropped and instead this is being transferred over to internet usage.

The Jupiter Research Group suggests that the print media's ability to retain its market share of time comes as a result of newspapers fighting to win audiences using various initiatives and methods. For me I think it is more a case of the the age old journalism trait of winning audiences by writing eye catching stories. This is enabling print media owners to then encourage their readers to go online and view their websites which they have now made more attractive by embracing the new technology available such as film clips of news and blogs etc.

Interestingly free papers that concentrate on attracting commuters, i.e. the wonderful Metro and the new TheLondonPaper are the form of print media that are recieving the most praise from researchers and readers alike.

Personally, I think that this research could mark a significant turning point for print media as it has retained its market share of time for the first time in years and it could well be a platform for a resurgance... all good news for PR's and Advertising Buying Managers everywhere!

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