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Print and Paper Packs a Punch

 

The results of an international survey by Two Sides provides unique insight into how paper and print is viewed, preferred and trusted by consumers around the globe.

In June 2017, a survey of 10,700 consumers was commissioned by Two Sides and carried out by leading research company Toluna. Nationally representative surveys were undertaken in ten countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Kellie Northwood, Executive Director, Two Sides Australia said, “We wanted to survey Australian and New Zealand consumers as part of a global survey to offer a representative voice to any regional differences in these two consumer markets for one of the largest and most established media channels - print.”

The global results reveal a strong preference for print when it comes to recreational reading e.g. books, magazines, news etc. 72% of global respondents prefer printed books, compared to only 9% preferring e-books. Significant country differences were also identified: in Germany, 75% of consumers prefer a printed newspaper, but in Spain, only 42%.

Not only is there a global preference for print, there is also greater trust in print over digital. 76% of all respondents believe “fake news” is a worrying trend and only 24% trust the news stories they read on social media. In addition, 63% of all respondents believe reading news in a printed newspaper provides a deep understanding of the story.

The survey also revealed consumers have a negative perception of online advertising. 68% of global respondents say they don’t pay attention to online ads and 62% find them annoying and usually not relevant. A further 57% of global respondents do their best to block or avoid online ads.

“Local findings are consistent with the global results and report a strong resentment of online advertising in both Australia (72%) and New Zealand (76%) consumers saying they do not pay attention to online advertisements. The survey results in our region indicate consumers have a preference for print over online,” commented Northwood.  

Despite more and more content available online and the shift towards receiving digital communications, 89% of consumers believe they should have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronically) from financial organisations and service providers, with a further 77% agreeing they should not be charged more for choosing paper bills and statements.

The common claims assisting this drive to digital, such as “Go Green - Go Paperless” and “Save Trees”, are creating consumer suspicion as 62% of global respondents believe the switch to digital is because the sender wants to save money, not because it is “better for the environment”.

Concerns about security and privacy were also evident. 71% are concerned their personal information held electronically is at risk of being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged and 73% keep paper copies of important documents at home for safety and security.

Overall, findings conclude that consumers trust, enjoy and gain a deeper understanding of information read in print, with signs of digital fatigue and concern for electronic information security and privacy evident.

“Australian and New Zealand findings highlight that consumers value and engage with paper and print. With media indexes reporting digital advertising growth has slowed, marketers looking to develop consumer trust, connection and engagement are tapping back into the power of print,” concluded Northwood.

Key findings from Australia

  • 72% of Australians prefer to read books and magazines in print and 56% prefer to read news in print
  • 67% agreed reading a printed magazine and 68% agreed reading a print book is more enjoyable than reading one on an electronic device
  • 47% read a printed book at least once a week while only 24% use an e-reader
  • 61% gain a deeper understanding of the story when read from print media
  • 67% regularly read news on a digital device, but 59% would be concerned if printed newspapers disappeared
  • 47% planning to read more news online in the future, but only 22% trust the news found on social media
  • 73% indicated they are concerned about the trend of “Fake News”
  • 66% agreed that it's important to "switch off" and enjoy printed books and magazines
  • 52% are concerned the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to health (eyestrain, sleep deprivation, headaches)
  • 63% prefer to read product catalogues in print
  • 72% of Australians do not pay attention to online advertisements
  • 67% agreed they find online advertisements annoying
  • 86% of Australians believe that consumers should have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronically), at no extra charge, from financial organisations and service providers
  • 69% of Australians believing that keeping hard copies at home is the safest and more secure way of storing information

Key Findings from New Zealand

  • 76% of New Zealanders prefer to read books and magazines in print
  • 72% agree that reading printed magazines and 70% agree reading printed books is more enjoyable than reading them on digital devices
  • 49% read a printed book at least once a week while only 25% use an e-reader
  • 54% gain a deeper understanding of a story when reading it from printed media
  • 78% regularly read news on a digital device but 57% would be concerned if printed newspapers disappeared
  • 53% are planning to read more news online in the future, but only 17% trust news stories found on social media
  • 76% indicated they are concerned about the trend of “fake news”
  • 68% of New Zealanders agreed that it’s important to “switch off” and enjoy printed books and magazines.
  • 49% believe they are spending too much time on electronic devices
  • 57% prefer to read product catalogues in print
  • 76% of New Zealanders do not pay attention to online advertisements
  • 64% agreed they find online advertisements annoying
  • 90% of New Zealanders believe that consumers should have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronically), at no extra charge
  • 69% believe that keeping hard copies at home is the safest and most secure way of storing information

Key findings from around the globe

Reading preferences

  • France: 85% would rather read a book in print
  • UK: 78% prefer printed magazines
  • Germany: 75% prefer printed newspapers
  • Australia: 63% prefer to shop with printed catalogues
  • Brazil: 61% prefer their energy and utility bills in print

Reading habits

  • Germany: 67% read a printed newspaper at least once a week
  • U.S.: 63% read addressed advertising mail at least once a week
  • Italy: 57% read a printed magazine at least once a week
  • Spain: 56% read a printed book at least once a week
  • Australia: 54% browse and shop for products using a printed catalogue weekly
  • France: 35% never read marketing emails

Trusted news

  • South Africa: 87% think fake news is a worrying trend
  • France: 74% would be very concerned if printed newspapers were to disappear
  • U.S.: 71% believe reading news in a printed newspaper provides a deep understanding of the story
  • France: 62% trust the news stories in printed newspapers
  • New Zealand: Only 17% trust the news stories they read on social media

Digital overload

  • France: 79% think it’s important to “switch off” and enjoy printed books and magazines
  • U.S.: 73% believe reading a printed magazine is more enjoyable than reading a magazine on an electronic device
  • UK: 72% believe reading a printed book is more enjoyable than reading a book on an electronic device
  • Brazil: 67% believe they spend too much time on electronic devices
  • Spain: 60% are concerned the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health

Advertising preferences

  • UK: 78% don’t pay attention to most online ads
  • Australia: 66% can’t remember the last time they willingly clicked an online ad
  • Germany: 64% find online advertisements annoying and usually not relevant
  • U.S.: 54% are more likely to take action after seeing an ad in a printed newspaper or magazine than if they saw the same ad online

The drive to digital

  • South Africa: 93% believe they should have the right to choose how they receive communications from financial organizations and service providers
  • UK: 84% believe if they choose to receive bills and statements electronically, they expect to have the option to go back to paper communication
  • U.S.: 83% believe they should not be charged more for choosing paper bills or statements
  • Spain: 79% are increasingly concerned their personal information held electronically is at risk of being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged
  • France: 74% find it easier to track expenses and manage finances when it is printed on paper

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