Among Affluent Americans, Print Media Is Tops
Mark Twain famously quipped that news of his death was exaggerated when the press mistook his cousin's serious illness for his own. Today, much the same could be said about traditional media. It seems that its death is foretold by any number of pundits with every new release of data on social media and digital devices. (Facebook's 500 million members would make it the third-largest country in the world! Ashton Kutcher has more than 7 million Twitter followers! IPad-mania sweeps through coffee shops around the world!)
Of course, we're not denying the widespread use and tremendous impact of "new" media. It is vitally important in the lives of consumers, particularly Affluents, and is becoming more so. Moreover, any business that suddenly finds 20-30% of its best customers "experimenting" with less profitable options (from "analog dollars to digital dimes") will face serious challenges. Reports of Twain's death were indeed exaggerated when he made his famous remark in 1897, but perhaps those reports are better characterized as premature; he had 13 more years left before an obituary became appropriate. Reports of the death of traditional media are equally premature.