Study: Men More Willing than Women to Adapt to Digital, Online Platforms

By: Steve McClellan/Adweek Independent media agency TargetCast:tcm has released a consumer trend report that reveals differences in how men and women engage with traditional media. The study also points to generational differences in the ways digital media is perceived and consumed.

The study, based on a survey last month of 895 adults age 18-64, found that men are generally more willing than women to adapt their habits to incorporate digital and online platforms as replacements for traditional media. For example, it's more common for men to say that the Internet has replaced their need to read printed newspapers and magazines. Men are also more willing to pay for an online subscription that allows them to watch TV programs on the Internet with limited advertising.

With respect to radio, 34 percent of men -- compared to 23 percent of women -- say radio is not as relevant today with so many other sources for music.

Also, the generational difference in attention to digital media is notable between adults 18-34 and adults 35 and over. The younger group is more likely to have replaced newspapers and magazines with Internet content, while adults older than 35 are more likely to consider magazines and newspapers valuable sources of information. Younger adults are also more likely to say radio is not as relevant and that they prefer reading magazines online.

"In a fragmented media landscape, it's critical that we understand the diversity of consumer media usage and how best to connect our brands with consumers during the 'aperture moments' when they are most receptive to marketing messages," said Steve Farella, president and CEO of TargetCast.

The study holds some good news for traditional mass media. While 60 percent of consumers said newspapers need to change the most to stay relevant, a majority said they won't abandon that medium. Adults 35 and over still consider newspaper advertising more influential in determining their purchasing decisions. More than 40 percent of adults 18-64 said they prefer the experience of reading a printed newspaper vs. online sources -- and just 15 percent of all respondents said they would rather read magazines online.

Among those 45 and over, 57 percent preferred reading a printed magazine to reading a magazine online. Forty-one percent also indicated radio is still relevant in purchasing decisions.

"More than ever, marketers must take into account the evolving media preferences of specific target audiences as they refine their approach to connecting with consumers," said Peter Sedlarcik, svp, director of insights and analytics at TargetCast. "Yet, while many may declare print media is dead, our findings show that marketing messages in newspapers and magazines still score well in terms of consumer attentiveness and purchase influence."

-- Nielsen Business Media


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