New study explores how millennials consume paid media content

September 30, 2015

A majority of Millennials regularly got paid news content in the last year, whether paid for by themselves or someone else, according to a new study conducted by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Moreover, 40 percent of Millennials personally paid for news. The study is a deeper examination of a nationwide survey conducted in early 2015.

"This study makes it clear that, contrary to popular belief, Millennials pay for content online," said Trevor Tompson, director of The AP-NORC Center. "But there are differences in their approach to consuming news that will continue to make paid or subscription models a challenge for news publishers attempting to attract a younger demographic."

Some of the key findings of the study include: "One big factor in whether people pay for news is their attitude about whether news helps their lives," said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute. "But there is also a challenge here. Some cohorts of Millennials believe that because news is important for democracy, it should be free, almost like a right. And we don't know whether that view will change as these younger adults age. That is going to be a hurdle for news publishers."
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About the Survey

This study was conducted by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The study included multiple data collection approaches, including a web survey and in-depth interviews with small groups of Millennials to understand their news habits. The survey was conducted January 5-February 2, 2015, and reached 1,045 adults nationwide between the ages of 18 and 34. Study recruitment was completed through a national probability mobile telephone sample, while the main portion of the questionnaire was administered online. The margin of error was +/- 3.8 percentage points. A full description of the study methodology for the survey and the qualitative group interviews can be found at the end of the report.

The proper description of the survey's authorship is as follows: This study was conducted jointly by the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

About the Media Insight Project

The Media Insight Project is a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research with the objective of conducting high-quality, innovative research meant to inform the news industry and the public about various important issues facing journalism and the news business. The Media Insight Project brings together the expertise of both organizations and their respective partners, and involves collaborations among key staff at the American Press Institute, NORC at the University of Chicago, and The Associated Press. http://www.mediainsight.org/

About the American Press Institute

Founded in 1946, the American Press Institute conducts research, training, convenes thought leaders, and creates tools to help chart a path ahead for journalism in the 21st century. The Press Institute is an educational non-advocacy 501(c)3 nonprofit organization affiliated with the Newspaper Association of America. It aims to help the news media, especially local publishers and newspaper media, advance in the digital age. http://www.pressinstitute.org

About The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research taps into the power of social science research and the highest-quality journalism to bring key information to people across the nation and throughout the world. http://www.apnorc.org

The Associated Press (AP) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. http://www.ap.org

NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge. http://www.norc.org

The two organizations have established The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research to conduct, analyze, and distribute social science research in the public interest on newsworthy topics, and to use the power of journalism to tell the stories that research reveals.

Contact: For more information, contact Eric Young for NORC at young-eric@norc.org or (703) 217-6814 (cell); Ray Boyer for NORC at boyer-ray@norc.org or (312) 330-6433; or Paul Colford for AP at pcolford@ap.org or info@apnorc.org.

NORC at the University of Chicago

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