Senior Execs Prefer Reading Periodicals in Print

doremusft-execs-readership-traditionalmedia-march2012.jpgSenior executives are more likely to prefer reading a range of publications in their printed formats rather than digitally, per survey results from Doremus and the Financial Times released in March 2012. 51% say they read newspapers mostly in print, compared to 14% who read them mostly online and 7% who do so mostly on a mobile or tablet. A majority also prefer reading industry trade journals (56%), general business magazines (56%), and leisure publications (60%) in their printed form.

The Doremus study also found that senior executives aged under 45 were less likely than their counterparts aged over 55 to prefer print readership of newspapers (44% vs. 61%), and more likely to read mostly online. This trend extended to consumption of general business magazines and trade publications, and is mirrored by results from the Fall 2011 wave of Affinity’s American Magazine Study, which found that digital magazines readers are on average slightly younger than print readers (41 vs. 47).

Online Sources Concern Some

Senior executives’ preference for print may be tied to a lack of trust in journalistic integrity online. Just 5% say they are not concerned that online sources do not share traditional journalistic standards and fact checking practices. 17% say they are concerned and therefore generally rely on print media.

Even so, one-third think standards vary by source rather than medium, and look for individual sources they can trust regardless of medium, while an additional 44% say they are concerned and consult multiple sources and media as a solution.

Digital Activities Used for Work Purposes

These executives may still be mostly accessing periodicals in print, but they are also heavily involved in digital and social activities, for both work and personal purposes. 86% say they either frequently or sometimes watch online video for leisure purposes, while 76% do so for work. Webcasts (71%), professional networking sites (65%), blogs (63%), and podcasts (51%) are also popular for work purposes, although social networking is far more entrenched for leisure than work purposes (58% vs. 27%).

Mobile Devices Mostly Used for News

Meanwhile, senior executives appear to be using their mobile devices mostly to check news (58%) and visit websites (52%). Among tablet owners, checking news (82%) and visiting websites (79%) are also the most popular activities, closely followed by searching, downloading applications (both at 76%), and using apps (74%). Tablet owners are far more likely than mobile owners to use their device to shop online (64% vs. 25%), manage their bank accounts (39% vs. 26%), and manage their investments accounts (26% vs. 11%), though only 9% of both groups report using QR codes.

Other Findings:

  • Roughly two-thirds of senior executives say they to not turn off their work mobile device when on holiday, and 63% do not turn it off at night or on the weekends. 26% say they have separate mobile devices for business and leisure.
  • Executives are partial to online sources that are tied to traditional media (86%), while only 2% say they prefer digital sources. A list of the top 10 print media websites by market share of visits can be found here.
  • Only 19% of respondents seek out websites that share their political views, compared to 25% who access websites that offer a variety of viewpoints, and 55% who visit a mix.

About the Data: The Doremus and Financial Times results are based on a global online survey of senior executives from a mix of industries and company sizes. The survey was fielded in October 2011 and received 628 responses.