96 Percent Of Newspapers Still Read In Print

While the newspaper community is scrambling to figure out how to monitize their digital assets and bemoaning the price of print, the Neiman Journalism Lab has been working on a report that might surprise everyone in the industry: 96 percent of newspaper reading is still done in the print editions.

The NAA’s research shows a “daily” (Monday through Saturday) print audience of 116.8 million, and a Sunday print audience of 134.1 million…That translates to about 87.1 billion printed page views per month.
NAA reports the daily newspaper online audience as measured by Nielsen in both unique visitors and page views. For 2008, it averaged 3.2 billion online page views per mont…
So, U. S. daily newspapers deliver a total of 90.3 billion page impressions per month, print and online. The online share of these page is only 3.5 percent &#151 96.5 percent of page impressions delivered by newspapers are in print.

What does that mean for the newspaper business? First, scraped articles and linking aside, publishers are grossly overestimating the ability of digital to create a revenue generating business model. Second, recession or no recession, the current newspaper business model doesn’t produce enough revenue to sustain the print edition and needs to be rethought (okay the second conclusion we determined after reading more of the article, which you can check out here).
For a look at all of the data, follow this story after the jump.