While news content websites tend to reach both younger and older adults (149%, under 45 and 51% age 45+), it’s the younger adults that are by far more likely to pay to access the content. In fact, 65% of adults that pay for subscriptions to publisher websites are age 18-44. When you look at those that subscribe compared to those that don’t, the age differences are quite significant.

Unsurprisingly, the vast difference in age affects other demographic traits among subscribers and non-subscribers.  Paid subscribers are significantly more likely to rent or still live with their parents and have lower household incomes. They are also less likely to be parents. All most certainly correlated with their youthfulness and will continue to evolve as they age.

Yet, there are other traits like political affiliation that publishers should be aware of. Nearly two-out-of-five paid subscribers identify as Democrat, while just 25% identify as Republican. This is noteworthy because CivicScience data shows publisher websites are losing their Democrat audience at a fast rate. If they continue to lose an audience segment that is most likely to pay for their content, there could be serious implications.

There are major behavioral and attitudinal differences as well. Subscribers are more tech savvy, heavier entertainment consumers and bigger sports fans. They are also far more influenced by social media.

Buying Power

Having lower incomes doesn’t seem to impact paying subscribers’ buying power. In fact, they are less price sensitive when it comes to all product categories – except electronics.

The good news for publishers is that younger generations are willing to pay for content. Making sure they are engaging them with relevant information, in a way that they want to consume it continues to be the challenge for most.

Want to learn more about how political tribalism and news fatigue are changing the landscape for publishers and advertisers? Click here to register for our upcoming webinar hosted by John Dick on Thursday January 27th at 3PM EST.

1Source: comScore, November 2021, News and Information website visitors