Who are ePaper readers? A case study from Germany

This week a new report on the state of ePaper readership in Germany was released by Die Zeitungen. German-speakers can find the full report here. To bring this information to a wider audience, we have translated the findings into English for our Future of News community. Join us as we explore five key findings on who the German ePaper reader is.

1. ePaper readership grew 20% in Q2

In Q2 alone, ePaper circulation in Germany rose by 20%. As we have seen in other countries, part of this growth is likely due to the Coronavirus crisis. Now every eighth newspaper sold in Germany is an ePaper. Still, coronavirus is not the only reason why we have seen such growth, many publishers see yearly growth.

One such publisher that has seen ePaper growth is DuMont, the publisher of a number of newspaper titles in the Cologne area (Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, Express and Kölner Rundschau). Carsten Gross, Managing Director, confirms the growing importance of the ePaper in the digital strategy of their newspapers.

Our ePaper readers are loyal and engaged, and we see growth in new edition readers every year.

Carsten Gross, Managing Director, DuMont Newspapers

2. 19% of the German population reads an ePaper

With the growth of overall ePaper usage, now 19% of the total German population reads an ePaper.

Of ePaper readers, 34% only read the ePaper for their news consumption.

3. ePaper readers are a younger, more profitable group than print readers

This report found that two thirds of ePaper readers (65.8%) are under the age of 50, making them a younger group than print readers. There’s also a good portion of readers who are in the 18-29 age range. It’s important to note that the survey only included respondents under the age of 70, so it’s not clear how many ePaper readers are older than 70 however.

This group also on average is fully employed and has achieved a higher level of education. In addition, some ePaper readers are among the highest earners: 43% earn over 3,000 euros net per month, while one in five has a household income of more than 4,000 euros net.

More and more readers are reaching for the newspaper’s ePaper and are willing to pay for it. An attractive and growing target group for publishers and advertisers.

Katrin Tischer, BDZV managing director

4. ePaper readers show high interest in local and regional news

80% of ePaper readers identify with the statement “local and regional news interest me very much”.

Within the category of local news, the most engaging topics are: construction/transportation, social projects, crime/accidents and economic policy. With a focus on Coronavirus coverage, new rules and measures are the most engaging topic.

This quality journalism is also something ePaper readers are willing to pay for, with 53% confirming “I am willing to pay for a trustworthy, credible news source”. Interestingly, pure print readers express a lower willingness to pay. This is also higher than the national proportion of Germans who pay for online news, which Reuters reported to be 10% this year.

5. Ease of use is the main reason people use an ePaper

ePaper readers cite the ease of use and constant availability as the main reason to use an ePaper. This echos our own research on edition readers, where we found the digital edition is a great product for maintaining habits, as it is always available, even when traveling or otherwise on the go.

We will continue to study the ePaper market in Germany and will publish a report later this year. Subscribe here to receive an early copy. For our German audience, do let us know if you would like to collaborate with us!

Mary-Katharine Phillips
Mary-Katharine Phillips
Media innovation analyst @ Twipe
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