Poll: Union “mobile first” redesign gets tepid response (AKA who wants to read Boardman’s column on an iPhone XR?!)

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iPhone XR (Photo: Apple)

The Union newspaper’s “mobile first” redesign is getting a tepid response, according to the newspaper’s own online poll. So far, 70 percent of those who voted said “I liked the old one better.” Just 16 percent said, “Yes, it’s so easy to use on my phone.”

The results are here:

This should NOT come as a surprise, because of the newspaper’s demographics. It reflects an aging, and a flat to declining population around here (AKA a retirement town). School enrollment has been declining. And guess what? Those who are 62 and older are the LEAST LIKELY GROUP to read newspapers on their phones. More of them prefer to read their newspapers in print.

As Pew reports: “About seven-in-ten adults ages 18 to 29 (71%) often get news on a mobile device, compared with 37% of those ages 65 or older. Moreover, those 65 and older are still more likely to often get news on a desktop than on a mobile device (47% compared with 37%, respectively). This is the only age group more likely to get news on a desktop or laptop computer than on a mobile device.”

“Square peg, meet round hole.” Bottom line: The Union needs to find some more fresh content to draw new readers, not just repurpose its existing content on a mobile platform. Content is king — not the platform.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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