DMD says print media is still important in-flight

In a new study on the media consumption of US travellers, Dawson Media Direct (DMD) has found that print media is still important to passengers on long-haul flights.

The study analysed 400 passengers aged 21-70 who had taken at least three fully paid premium-cabin round-trips between the US and Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Middle East or South America in the last six months.

“DMD wanted to learn exactly how those key first and business class passengers use print and digital news content, in daily life and flying long-haul,” explained Heather Browand, DMD’s SVP for US sales and marketing. “We worked with the independent travel industry specialist Atmosphere Research to develop a unique online survey of premium fliers in our market.”

While 68% of respondents said they read print media at home and 54% of them said they read some print media at the airport or onboard, 77% of long-haul premium passengers said they viewed flight time as a key time to read the press.

The results supposedly show that the number of people spending over an hour a day reading newspapers increases by a third when people are in the air (flying premium long-haul) when compared to their everyday behaviour on the ground.

DMD claims 38% of the respondents ranked reading a printed newspaper or magazine among their top three activities under surveyed conditions, placing it ahead of digital news content, print or digital books.

In terms of the types of print media popular among the surveyed passengers, DMD says print magazines see the biggest uptake in the air, with people spending an average of 77 minutes reading them in-flight versus the 49 minutes they were likely to spend reading them at home, an increase of 57%.

The time passengers spend reading digital magazines, however, only increases by 9% from 55 minutes on the ground to 60 minutes in-flight.

According to the study, passengers spend 22% longer reading print newspapers in-flight – an average of 71 minutes – than they do at home, compared with only 8% longer – an average of 64 minutes – on digital newspapers.

Interestingly, the study also showed that 66% of travellers aged between 21 to 39 attributed importance to print media, versus only 63% of those aged 40-plus.

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