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Report: Despite Stereotype, Young Adults Still Prefer ‘Print-Like’ Reading Experience

December 13, 2013

Employers, marketers and brand gurus tend to view people from so-called “Generation Y” — loosely defined as those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s — like a separate and baffling species.

But according to a new report from the Pew Research Center, when it comes to reading news on mobile devices, young people aren’t so different, after all. As the report shows, people in their teens through late twenties use tablets and smartphones to read news at nearly identical rates as adults in their thirties and forties.

According to Pew, 30 to 50 percent of every demographic except seniors uses mobile phones and tablets to read news — men and women, college-educated or not, making less than $30,000 a year or more than $75,000.

The research identified some small differences: Men are more likely to read longer articles, while women are more likely to use social media.

But for all the hype about multi-media, most people who read news still enjoy seeing it the old fashioned way, in columns of paragraphs. According to the Pew report, 58 percent of those under 50 and 60 percent of Millennials prefer a “print-like experience” over tech features such as audio, video, and complex graphics. — Greg Beaubien


Emily Nicoline says:

"Non-whites are more likely to watch videos on their mobile devices." That's an odd way to phrase the data. Did it go into detail as to why that is?

Dec. 14, 2013

John Elsasser says:

@ Emily Good question, Emily. That was language from Pew. I removed the mention here, because it felt tacked on and deserved further exploration. We linked to the 17-page report in the brief above. This report provides more detail.

Dec. 16, 2013

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