New Stats Show a Global Preference for Print

There’s a lot that divides us in this world. Yet across barriers of geography and politics, one thing is increasingly clear:

When it comes to how we read, there is a global preference for print.

The data from a recent survey by shows that print and paper still pack quite a punch in the digital world.

“The results reveal a strong preference for print when it comes to recreational reading e.g. books, magazines, news, etc. 72% of global respondents prefer printed books, compared to only 9% preferring e-books. Significant country differences were also identified: in Germany, 75% of consumers prefer a printed newspaper, but in Spain, only 42%,” notes this article from TwoSidesNA.

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This backs up our own research on how we really consume our magazines – mainly that we read more, read longer and subscribe more often to print magazines than digital.

Not only do people around the world show a preference for print, they also feel it is far more trustworthy than digital sources.

As the TwoSides reports shows, “76% of all respondents believe ‘fake news’ is a worrying trend and only 24% trust the news stories they read on social media. In addition, 63% of all respondents believe reading news in a printed newspaper provides a deep understanding of the story.”

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As a side note, consumers are still very much opposed to being told they need to switch to electronic delivery of their financial statements and other important communications. The corporate greenwashing has failed to resonate:

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Okay, so the stats and figures are interesting … but what’s the takeaway for brands? Let’s put it into perspective.

“Overall, findings conclude that consumers trust, enjoy and gain a deeper understanding of information read in print, with signs of digital fatigue and concern for electronic information security and privacy evident,” the article notes.

If your audience is showing signs of mistrust and fatigue on particular channels, is that where you should be focusing your marketing efforts? I’d say probably not. Meanwhile, as our audience searches for trust, and publishers search for deeper engagement, print performs remarkably well.

It’s time to take a very close look at the facts and see how well they are aligned with your own media strategy.