SEOUL, Dec. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — Eight out of 10 South Korean adults read news on their smartphones, while the readership of physical newspapers sank to one-fifth of its size recorded in 1996, a survey showed Monday.
According to the poll of 5,040 adults nationwide conducted by Gallup Korea, 80.8 percent said they read news on smartphones, up four-fold from 19.5 percent in a similar survey held in 2011.
The percentage of respondents who read news on desktop computers decreased from 51.5 percent to 31.7 percent in the same period, it found.
Those who read news via messenger services or social media sites declined by 5.2 percentage points and 1.9 percentage points, respectively, from the previous year, it said.
The portion who read physical newspapers slightly rose from 16.7 percent last year to 17.7 percent this year. But this year’s results represent one-fifth of the 1996 figure of 85.2 percent.
The poll, carried out at the request of the Korea Press Foundation (KPF), has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.
The percentage of respondents who said they read news via more than one of the five methods — physical newspapers, PCs, smartphones, mobile phones and Internet protocol TVs — over the past week edged up 0.6 percentage point from the previous year to 79.6 percent.
“The latest survey indicates that amid a fall in the readership of physical newspapers, South Korean adults are reading newspaper articles through various channels,” an official at the KPF said.
The portion of respondents who read news on Internet portals reached 76 percent, with 62 percent regarding portals as mass media, the poll said.
It also found that 33.6 percent of the respondents use online video platforms.