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Printed newspaper trusted by 86% of people, RAM survey shows

20 October 2015 · By Marek Miller

Despite the proliferation of digital news consumption, INMA’s 2015 Trust & Value Survey indicates print is still an important part of the media mix, engagement with news brands is high, and advertising is not considered intrusive.

On the second day of the INMA European Media Conference in Budapest, Hungary, Dianne Newman, a member of the INMA Research Expert group, offered insight into the results of the INMA Trust & Value Survey 2015.

The INMA Trust & Value Survey is a reader-panel survey across 130 newspaper titles in Europe. This is the second edition of the survey, which is powered by RAM. The survey looks at how readers value their newspapers, content, and advertising, both in print and online. 

The survey included a very large sample size: 14,416 interviews from eight countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, and France) and 115 titles. Of the respondents, 54% were male and 46% were female. 

This survey highlights a lot of information about news brand engagement:

  • 86% of respondents engage with newspapers at least once a week.

  • 62% engage on desktop computers, 35% on mobile, 32% on tablets, 26% via apps, 12% on Facebook, and 6% on Twitter.

  • 49% of people spent more than 21 minutes on average reading the newspaper, proving people still engage with print. 

Readers perceive engaging with print newspapers as a quality way to spend time. The medium is trusted, gives people something to talk about, is of quality, has unique content, and inspires ideas, Newman said:

  • 73% of respondents trust the information they read on a news site.

  • 75% think Web sites provide them with something to talk about.

  • 75%  also consider reading the news brand’s Web site as a high-quality use of time. 

Something publishers should focus on are their “promoters,” Newman said, as “distractors” don’t tend to recommend their news brands.

In the United Kingdom, for example, there are more promoters than distractors (38% versus 26%). The net value of promoters versus distractors does not look too well either: In print, the value stays at -5, whereas for Web sites it’s -38. Unfortunately, this is how readers perceive the digital offerings of the news brands.

Keeping this in mind, here are a few reasons why promoters are important:

  • 23% are more likely to be daily newspaper readers.

  • 40% are more likely to have increased their consumption of print.

  • 15% are more likely to turn to print first for local news.

  • 50% are more likely to rely on print for community involvement.

  • 88% are more likely to rely on print for unique content.

  • 86% are more likely to trust their newspaper.

People see advertising as an integral part of the printed product, and they don’t feel that it’s intrusive. They consider ads as pieces of information in the print product. It is also noticeable that print ads drive recall, attention, and action.

The survey also touched on the matter of paid content. Based on those surveyed, 36% are willing to pay for online editions of newspapers. Nordic countries are on top with 42% of them declaring their willingness to pay for content.

Finally, Newman offered some key takeaways from the survey:

  • Print is crucial. It is still important in the media mix.

  • Print plays an important role despite the multi-media audience.

  • Digital is increasing, though not at the detriment of print.

  • Engagement with news brands is high.

  • Satisfaction is higher with print.

  • Focus on your promoters. Understand who they are and how they behave. If you do, they will recommend your brand.

  • Advertising is integral. It drives recall, engagement, and action.

  • There’s still more work to be done with paid content.

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