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Survey Says: Readers Prefer Paper to Screens

We’ve been saying this for a while now: study after study confirms that consumers by and large prefer printed paper over digital readers when consuming all types of information (marketers agree).

The latest study finds that “88 percent of respondents indicated that they understood, retained or used information better when they read print on paper compared to lower percentages (64 percent and less) when reading on electronic devices,” according to a release from Two Sides North America.

“The same trend was found for reading complicated documents with 80 percent indicating a clear preference for reading print on paper, and reading on screens showing a much lower preference than print at below 16 percent across all age groups,” the article continues.

Key findings include:

  • 75% say they are more relaxed and receptive reading a print magazine than a digital version.
  • When the material is complicated, 80% would chose to read it in print.
  • Distraction goes way down when reading in print: only 23% said they were easily distracted when reading in print (compared to 66% when reading on phones and 42% on e-readers).
  • Many respondents actually print out digital documents, citing reasons including “easier to read,” “more secure,” “better for storing,” and “less likely to be lost.”
  • 64% pay more attention to ads in printed magazines over online.

The next time you are wondering if print is still relevant to your company’s marketing plans, consider your customers and your advertisers. Clearly, print is still relevant to them.



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