Looking for the highest audience engagement...pick up a newspaper

How many times have you …

  1. been watching TV and … cooking, cleaning, on the phone, on the computer, working, reading, or fast-forwarding/muting the commercials?
  2. been listening to the radio and … driving, working at your desk, talking on the phone, listening to your iPod or scanning stations during commercials?
  3. been reading the newspaper … and …

It is obvious that in today’s fast-paced world, multi-tasking has become second nature. With distractions all around, when are locals the most engaged? When compared to television and radio – according to a recent study by Scarborough – locals are the most engaged when reading the newspaper.

Let’s take a deeper look into how new technologies are affecting engagement with traditional media.

advertising engagement chart resized 600

When looking at this chart, you can easily see that locals are the most distracted when watching TV. The majority acknowledge doing other things while watching – particularly when it comes to commercials. As technology continues to grow, more households are getting accustomed to things like DVRs (digital video recorders) that allow them to skip those pesky commercials.

Even those who don’t have this option still choose to avoid commercials by watching movies or, simply, by muting commercials in-between programs.

Radio comes in second place, as locals prefer listening to this free service to buying pre-recorded audio. When listening, however, the majority are switching stations during a commercial. With the increased adoption of alternatives like XM radio and mp3 players (e.g., iPods), more options are available for commercial-free music than ever before.

The last bar on the chart represents “newspaper engagement.” High above other traditional media, locals are the least distracted – in fact, 68 percent of locals rarely or never do something else while reading the newspaper.

As we have seen in the previous examples, the rise of new technologies can foster an advertising-free environment. On the contrary, new technology is a friend, not a foe, of newspapers. Tablets and smart-phones now work as new vehicles to deliver, in a new way, printed newspaper content that people love.

Engagement is the key to any successful marketing campaign, and newspapers prove to be the most captivating form of traditional media. This ensures high engagement across a variety of platforms.

written by: Ashton Norris