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Printed newspapers losing subscribers

All Headlines 10:22 April 04, 2017

SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- With the recent surge of digital news consumers, the number of subscribers to printed newspapers has been reduced to one fifth of what its size was two decades ago, a press foundation said Tuesday.

The Korea Press Foundation said in its Korea Press Yearbook 2016 that only 14.3 percent of respondents to its annual survey said they subscribe printed newspapers at home. This is about one fifth of the 69.3 percent that answered positively to the same question in 1996.

The yearbook was based on the survey conducted from June to August last year on 5,128 adults across the country.

The rate of news consumers who subscribe to printed newspapers have declined from 64.5 percent in 1998 to 59.8 percent in 2000, 40 percent in 2006, 29 percent in 2010 and to 20.2 percent in 2014.

Printed newspapers losing subscribers - 1

The book showed that the country's newspaper-reading population has also declined sharply.

Only 20.9 percent answered "yes" when asked if they have read printed newspapers in the past week, down 4.5 percentage points from 25.4 percent in 2015.

The 20.9 percent portion is about one fourth of the share in 1996.

The rate has been on a sharp decline from 81.4 percent in 2000 to 76 percent in 2004, 68.8 percent in 2006 and 58.5 percent in 2008, 52.6 percent in 2010, 40.9 percent in 2012 and to 30.7 percent in 2014.

The declining rates of newspaper-based news consumers and subscribers led to a reduction in the circulation numbers of the media.

According to the Korea Audit Bureau of Certification, 161 dailies across the country had a total daily circulation of about 9.74 million copies in 2015. The comparable figures for 2010 were 141 dailies and 11.05 million copies.

National dailies also saw a 9-percent decline in their total daily circulation from 7.89 million in 2010 to 7.18 million in 2015.

The reports ascribed the declines to the recent rise in the number of people who access news on mobile devices or Internet-connected PCs.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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