Audience Development & Millennials: Paying for News is Becoming More Popular

Legacy publishers are not forgetting about audience development efforts towards millennials as subscriptions continue to surge

The millennial demographic is one publishers often wonder about. Considering millennials in an audience development plan is a great idea for publishers, and we’re now seeing some interesting evolutions in the way millennials are paying for news. Yes, you read that correctly. More millennials are subscribing to news, including print, more than we’ve seen before.

Today we’ll look at a few publishers who have experienced a growth in millennial subscriptions. For some of them, it seems the political environment is helping to drive some of these subscriptions. Politico reports, “As President Donald Trump wages daily war against the press, millennials are subscribing to legacy news publications in record numbers—and at a growth rate, data suggests, far outpacing any other age group.”


“Since November’s election, the New Yorker, for instance, has seen its number of new millennial subscribers more than double from over the same period a year earlier. According to the magazine’s figures, it has 106 percent more new subscribers in the 18-34 age range and 129 percent more from 25-34.”

The article continues with another magazine that has seen both print and digital subscriptions rise over the past year. “The Atlantic has a similar story: since the election, its number of new subscribers aged 18-24 jumped 130 percent for print and digital subscriptions combined over the same period a year earlier, while 18-44 went up 70 percent.”

Perhaps even more surprising is the growth that print newspaper publishers are also experiencing through the millennial demographic. Politico continues, “Newspapers like The Washington Post and The New York Times typically do not share specific subscriber data, but according to a Post spokesperson, its subscriber growth rate is highest among millennials. A New York Times representative relayed that the paper was “seeing similar trends” in subscriptions and pointed to public data on digital traffic that showed its online reach among millennials to be up 9 percent from the same period a year ago.”

And unlikely print newspapers are increasing in audience development ranks, too. “Even The Wall Street Journal—not a paper usually known for being left around dorm rooms—said that it has doubled its student subscribers in the last year.”

Interestingly enough, additional data from the article shares how this growth in paid subscriptions is being experienced only in the U.S. “According to the Reuters Institute report, which surveyed more than 70,000 people in 36 countries and was published last summer, the United States was the only country studied that over the last year saw a major increase in the proportion of people who paid for online news, jumping from 9 percent in 2016 to 16 percent in 2017—and millennials were a big part of the reason.”

“Between 2016 and 2017, the share of Americans aged 18-24 who paid for online news vaulted from 4 percent to 18 percent, the study said; the age group 25-34 rose from 8 percent to 20 percent. Those two age groups, Newman said, collectively represent about 30 percent of the market.”

Does your audience development strategy include focus on millennials? Do you know the best ways to spread your content through the most-effective channels? If you’d like to discuss how we can help you increase your audience, revenue and profits, please reach out to schedule a no obligation chat with Don Nicholas, our Founder, Chairman & CEO.


Leave a Reply