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Print and Paper in a Digital World Key Findings From the UK Survey

Many consumers prefer and enjoy reading in print.  The survey found print to be the preferred choice for recreational reading in the UK: magazines (78%), books (73%) and news (62%).

Although printed newspapers were preferred overall, clear generational differences could be seen in the findings. 77% of over 55s prefer to read news in print, but the younger the respondent was, the less likely they were to prefer printed newspapers – with just 35% of the 18-24 years olds choosing print. Mobile was the most popular format for news consumption amongst the 18-24 year olds at 38%.

Printed books were preferred across all age groups, followed by e-readers (12%) and tablets (7%). E-readers, such as Kindles, were more popular amongst the older respondents, and tablets with younger respondents. 72% of those surveyed believe reading a printed book is more enjoyable than reading a book on an electronic device.

For bills and statements, the survey found that UK consumers prefer to read these on their computers (laptops and desktops). Printed statements were preferred by 29% of respondents and 56% say they prefer to receive bills and financial statements through a combination of both online and on paper.

Consumers want to retain the right to choose how they receive communications. The survey examined consumer attitudes towards the drive to digital-only communications. 88% believe they should have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronically) from their service providers. A further 73% believe they should not be charged morefor choosing paper bills or statements and 41% of UK consumers would consider changing provider if forced to go digital-only.

Print provides more privacy and security. 71% of UK consumers are increasingly concerned that their personal information held electronically is at risk of being hacked, stolen, lost ordamaged and 69% keep hard copies of important documents filed at home, as they believe this is the safest and most secure way of storingtheir information.

Print is more trusted and provides and deeper understanding to the reader. More consumers believe they gain a deeper understanding of the story when read from newspapers (63%) over online news sources (45%).76% of all UK respondents believe “fake news” is a worrying trend and just 16% trust the news stories found on social media. Older age groups
were less trusting of both printed and online news sources: just 35% of respondents over 55 say they trust the news stories they read in printed newspapers, and only 4% say they trust the news stories found on social media.

News consumption habits are changing. The results reveal that consumers still spend a lot of time reading printed products every week. 29% of respondents read printed newspapers every day and a further 28% pick up a paper at least once a week. Despite 62% of respondents preferring to read news in print, in practice, more are reading news on electronic devices on a daily (42%) and weekly (28%) basis. 75% of 18-24 year olds say they prefer to get their news online for free and 62% say they will read more news online in the future.Despite the shift to reading more news online, 59% of respondents would be concerned if printed newspapers were to disappear in the future.

There is concern about the impacts of digital consumption on health. 47% believe they spend too much time on electronic devices and 46% are concerned the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health. 31% feel they are suffering from “digital overload” – this rises to 58% amongst the 18-24 year olds. Although 69% think it’s important to “switch off” from screens, 62% of respondents claim they are reading fewer printed magazines than they used to and 44% are reading fewer books.
Online advertising is unpopular with most consumers. The results reveal that 78% of UK consumers do not pay attention to online advertisements and 63% do their best to block or avoid them. 69% of respondents say they find online ads and 72% say they can’t remember the last time they willingly clicked an online ad.

Complete report and request for printed versions click here.