Thanks for this John. Really interesting combination of data. I do have one question: Under the Instapaper bar chart showing increase in reads, you ask the question ‘why are people reading more?’ but don’t answer it. Do you have any further data on this? And what is your personal view?
I can imagine 3 scenarios around quality, quantity and accessibility — what are your thoughts?
Scenario 1: Quality of content is increasing, so people are choosing to allocate more of their time to reading it.
Scenario 2: Quality is the same, but there is more of it out there so people are consuming it.
Scenario 3. Quantity/quality is the same, but people are finding it easier to find and consume it (social sharing bringing content to my attention better, apps like Instapaper making it easier for me to consume that content, etc).
All of these sort of imply that people either have spare bandwidth for media consumption (unlikely), or there is latent demand out there for quality content which the Atlantic, Guardian, et al are managing to tap into —effectively they’re taking market share of our limited number of attention-minutes which was previously being spent elsewhere.