How Do We Make Reading Relevant to Today’s Consumer?

books, ebooks, data, readers, publishers, authors“In a world where users can access entertainment from their mobile devices anytime and anyplace,” writes Scribd COO Eric Shoup, “all forms of media are competing against each other for a resource that is quickly becoming scarce: user attention.

“Media consumption patterns are increasingly mobile, increasingly digital and often multi-platform. This evolution has created a “multi-tasking” form of consumption, in which users rarely give their full, undivided attention to a single media source from start to finish in one uninterrupted session. In fact, a recent study revealed that this multitasking behavior means that the average American is fitting in 31 hours of activity on a daily basis—many more hours of activity than there are in a day. This is only possible with multi-tasking, with users listening to music while they exercise, or playing a game while they watch TV, or listening to a podcast while they read.

“The study shows that users spend 19 minutes of the day reading, but more than 1 ½ hours on social networks and more than five hours watching video. Of course, these sessions aren’t all in one sitting and probably not even of the same content. In a recent user research project we conducted at Scribd, we found more than one participant reading five or more books at the same time—through small portions of each intermittently as time permitted and the interest struck them.

“Reading is facing an uphill battle against other forms of media in the fight for attention.”

Much more.

Related: Stop Wasting Time in the Attention Economy

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