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Print Readers Aging Faster than Population as a Whole

OK, we know that print has a lot of problems, but here's another one to add to the list: the average age of those who read print publications is aging faster than the population as a whole, according to a story in Advertising Age. If that finding is a little confusing, here's further detail: in the last five years, the average age of the American population has increased by 1.3 years, to an average age of 45.2, but across 200 publications, during the same five years, the average age of print readers increased by 1.6 years, to 44.

The good news, I guess, is that print readers are still slightly younger than the average age of the population as a whole, but there are a number of publications whose average reader is aging faster than the amount of time that has passed since MRI last did this study -- among them Motor Boating magazine, whose readership aged by 6.8 years during the last five years. Go get the plastic surgeon, stat!

How one spins this news depends on who you're targeting. Generally, since advertisers remain enamored of younger demographics, this is interpreted as bad news. If you're the group publisher in charge of Motor Boating magazine, however, you note that your aging audience has more time and more discretionary income, and hope the advertisers start to call.

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