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Read Between The Lines: More And Better Ways To Deliver The News

Take a look at any teen Web site and you’ll see that it takes a lot of bells and whistles to attract Generation Y—the age group that has always known the Internet, and the immediacy and interactivity that it has brought to publishing and the rest of our lives. Print publishers are already lagging in mindshare with this group.

Take a look at any teen Web site and you’ll see that it takes a lot of bells and whistles to attract Generation Y—the age group that has always known the Internet, and the immediacy and interactivity that it has brought to publishing and the rest of our lives. Print publishers are already lagging in mindshare with this group. According to the Mediamark Research Spring 2008 report, just 38 of the 255 titles studied can claim their readers’ median age is within the advertiser-coveted 18-to-34-year-old demographic.In addition, the latest Pew report states that 34 percent of the people surveyed under the age of 25 get no news on any typical day.But publishers are (finally) coming up with new and innovative ways to tap into this lucrative demographic. As a former newspaper editor, I am well aware of this issue, which has haunted publications for the past decade or two, as they observed the rapid decline in readership among younger generations. For far too long, publishers pushed the print publication and ignored the technology component. At long last, they are realizing the two can co-exist.

  • Time Inc. relaunched its mobile content and it’s thinking about more broadband video and video-on-demand content, too.
  • Seventeen, whose average reader is a 16-year-old girl, has managed to secure the positions of top teen magazine and online site for teen girls and continues to try everything it can to reach new readers, including SeventeenTV and sponsorships with MySpace. Every single thing the magazine does points to the Web site and everything on the Web points to the magazine to continually serve the reader in the best possible way.
  • SportsIllustrated launched Fan Nation, a Web destination that aggregates, filters, and customizes player and team content in real time on the Internet. This summer, it launched the first full Fantasy Football League on Facebook, giving younger generations the opportunity to interact with SportsIllustrated. As a result, the magazine has moved well beyond looking at 3 million magazine subscribers to thinking about engaging 59 million avid sports fans.

Success for a publication lies in the ability to use each platform to its advantage. While print is great for beautiful photographs and in-depth stories, online is great for interactivity, research, and quick reads — and younger generations want access to both.

Sarah Sladek

Concerned about declining engagement in our nation’s membership associations, non-profits, and workplaces, Sarah Sladek founded XYZ University, the nation’s first and only generations-focused training and engagement strategy company, in 2002.

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