Back in 1940, 80% of the 1,877 of the daily newspapers in the United States were published on the afternoon cycle, meaning that editions were printed some time prior to noon for delivery to consumers coming home from work. And it was good.
By 2000, 52% of the nation’s 1,480 newspapers were publishing on the morning cycle to accommodate people who worked later, had longer commutes and were more interested in watching TV than reading a paper when they got home from work. And things were still pretty good.In 2009, according to the latest statistics published by the Newspaper Association of America, 62% of the remaining 1,387 newspapers were produced overnight for delivery around 6 a.m. But things lately have not been very good, with newspaper circulation down by a third in the last 20 years.
In research released earlier this year, ComScore, the digital ratings service, found that mobile phone, computer and tablet use spikes in the morning, as consumers get ready for work. Separately, Dan Zarrella, a social-media marketing researcher, found that the early-morning action on Facebook rivals the spike in activity the site experiences in the after-dinner hours.
Fortunately, the ComScore research contains a hopeful nugget. The company found that iPad use rises considerably during the after-dinner hours, when consumers evidently make time to catch up on articles they have cached or bookmarked during the day.
... Newspapers can take advantage of the quiet time consumers apparently set aside for reading by publishing products delivered on the mobile and tablet platforms in the hours between roughly 6 and 8 p.m.