E-readers, like the Amazon Kindle, likely won't help newspapers hold on to audiences, as younger users think the Kindle is "old" compared to smart phones, while older users prefer the experience a print version offers, a new study from the University of Georgia has found.
The Kindle doesn't have a touch screen and it can't surf the Internet, young adults pointed out. Older adults, meanwhile, pointed out that features like comics and crossword puzzles aren't available on e-reader devices, according to the six-month study by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. For the study, participants read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the Kindle and gave feedback.
Regardless of age, cost was a major factor. The Kindle DX costs US$489, and being able to read a newspaper on one is not enough to justify spending that amount of money, according to the study.
"We are in the first phase of the project which compares e-readers, such as the Kindle, to traditional newspapers and online delivery systems," Dean Krugman, a professor of advertising, said in a news release. "Our focus is on the way people consume media in a rapidly changing environment. Earlier, we employed similar methods when studying the growth of the multi-channel television environment."
Of course, when the iPad hits the market, the Kindle will experience major competition, as the study found that features like colour and touch screens are likely to win over more readers.