2019 key executives mega-conference

Trending: #Millennials actually follow the news

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It turns out that those darn millennials might just be good customers for newspapers after all.

At the Mega-Conference, Jeff Sonderman, the deputy executive director of the American Press Institute, reported on an extensive survey of how people get their news these days.

The most heartening finding: 85% of surveyed millennials are interested in the news, and 45% are following five types of “hard news” such as politics and world news—exactly what newspapers in print and digital offer.

API characterized news consumers as “seekers”—those who actively seek out news from news organizations—and “bumpers,” people who wait for the news to find them.

Overall, about 36% of news consumers are bumpers and another roughly third of consumers are seekers. Among newspaper subscribers, 75% actively search for news.

Among millennials, 39% seek out the news, while 60% are “bumpers.” The survey also revealed that 90% of millennials who are paying for news are also paying for entertainment channels like Netflix.

“So it’s no longer outlandish to ask people to subscribe to digital news,” Sonderman said.

Key quote from this session: “The audience trends gives each publisher an opportunity to survive—not a right. We can think of ourselves as some of the best-capitalized startups in the country. But new business models must be audience-first.”