10 Scary Reasons Millennials Don’t Read the Newspaper

Posted by Sydney M. Wolff on Sep 1, 2015 4:48:00 PM

Topics: Audience Insights


It’s no secret that the millennial generation isn’t reading the paper. This massive group of 18-34 year olds is notorious for their obsession with technology, and their news consumption habits are no exception. Despite a strong desire to stay connected with the world and current events, millennials are starting to favor or discard certain mediums. From 2001 to 2013, millennials who relied on the newspaper as their primary source of news plummeted from 36% to 22%. As the generation flocks to the Internet for information, newspapers are being thrown to the wayside.  So why is it that millennials aren’t pick up the paper anymore?

1. There is no Control+Find in print.

Millennials want their information easily accessible. Technology enables them to find the content they want, when they want it--no searching or flipping through pages necessary.

2. Millennials are a financially-conscientious generation.

Even if papers were the preferred medium for news, millennials are hyper-aware of their spending. If it can be found for free online or even on TV , that’s where their allegiance  lies.

3. A paper isn’t portable.

In our fast-paced world, a newspaper can seem bulky and inconvenient. The daily commute is that much simpler with an iPad in hand.

4. Their friends say it best.

This generation is known for depending on opinions from friends and family. If their news and social sphere can live in the same place (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.), it’s that much more enticing.

5. The Twittersphere offers play-by-play news.

Almost 60% of Twitter news users rely on the site to provide information on news as it’s happening. Even the fastest newspaper can’t compete with that kind of real-time response.

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6. Brevity is key.

One third of older millennials have a college degree, so whether they’re still pursuing a degree or working in the professional world, millennials are busy and overloaded with information. Concise content is essential.

7. They can’t hold a newspaper and their smartphone at the same time.

Millennials touch their smartphones 45 times a day. They don’t have time to stop by the store, let alone actually pick up a paper.

8. Millennials want a voice, too.

On Facebook, about 3 in 10 users comment on posts about the government or politics. Communication and individuality are a vital part of this generation’s character, and newspapers lack that sort of interaction. 

9. It’s tough to compete with the convenience of a smartphone, or tablet, or laptop.

Relative to our devices, newspapers are surprisingly hard to come by. Even if they’re on every corner, it’s hard to beat a smartphone that’s  never farther than an arm’s reach.

10. Millennials are visual learners.

The extensive studies that have been done on this generation have shown their preference for visual aids. While newspapers can offer this to a degree, apps, videos, and even television take the cake.

In contrast to the decrease in use of papers, the number of millennials that use the Internet as their primary source of news jumped from 18% to 71% in the same 10 years. Between Buzzfeed, Reddit, Huffington Post, and apps for nearly every news outlet, there is no shortage of information online. New sites and apps are popping up every day to cater to this gigantic generation. As platforms increase in count and popularity, it seems inevitable that other mediums like newspapers will decline, possibly even faster than in recent years.