It comes as no surprise that printed newspaper and magazine circulation continues to drop as electronic delivery moves in to take up some of the slack. My daily commuting observations over the past two months, however, reveals a slower shift than I might have otherwise thought.

The Morning Rush
Look around. In a relatively packed car the majority occupied with either paper or electronics are reading printed material. Force of habit moves us to pick up the morning paper and revert to the 90s way of catching up on the news. Evidence of freebees, in the form of AM New York or Metro NY, are everywhere and account for a good number of readers. But they ARE reading more than “e-doing”.

The Afternoon Rush
The story changes. In almost a complete reversal, electronic gadgets are the order of the day with the minority reading printed matter in the form of books or magazines (rarely newspapers). Chances are that one gets caught up with the news during the day as the freebees are distributed only in the morning.

Demographic Chasms
Would it surprise you to know that the young adult is rarely buried in a book or newspaper? Watch as young execs are tethered to Angry Birds and plugged in to iPod tunes (often together) acting as if shaken by a seizure.
A more “seasoned” group is still browsing a magazine or reading a book …. But there are far fewer of them doing so.

So What?
If you can take targeted advantage of these dynamics it would suggest the use of morning freebees for the older crowd while focusing on a working e-platform for young adults. It would be wise to remember that underground e-connections do not yet exist.

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