Miami Today's very active, affluent readers exude optimism
By Michael Lewis
Our reader surveys uncover valuable trends. Key findings of a brand-new study:
You're optimistic despite a bitter economic storm, your pocketbooks are battered but far from broken, you're extremely active, you use Miami Today ever more as a working tool, and we're your go-to source for news of government, business and civic affairs.
Look category by category.
Optimism: 10% of you plan to buy a single-family home in 2009, 9% a condo and 6% commercial realty in our storm-tossed market. You see bargains and plan to act soon.
More optimism: 15% plan to buy art, 14% fine jewelry, 6% antiques and 4% a boat. These plans show deep pockets and optimism in an economy where spending has nosedived. You're still the buying segment here.
That's true even though you've taken a hit along with everyone else. Our readers' mean household income, still five times the state average at $219,925, is down from $235,425 in 2007.
Your net worth also fell. Half of you were millionaires in 2007; today it's 44% — still the cream of the crop, but not quite as creamy.
But money hasn't all drained out: 9% of you are worth more than $5 million today, up from 7% two years ago.
Much of that worth remains in real estate. Today 12% of you own another residence in the US outside of Florida and 12% own a residence abroad.
As for being active, you averaged 7.3 airplane trips last year, up from 5 in 2007. Far more of you vacationed abroad: 57% versus 51% in 2007. And 9% vacationed abroad four times or more in 2008. You travel easily from nation to nation because 93% of you hold active passports.
You're active culturally, too. In the past six months 53% of you went to concerts, 50% to charitable events, 48% to art galleries, 47% to museums, 45% to the theater, 28% to the opera or ballet and 27% to nightclubs. And active as you are, 52% found time to read three or more books.
What else? In the past six months, 36% bicycled, 28% went to a spa, 19% boated, 18% played golf, 15% played tennis and 14% went fishing.
Meanwhile, you're spending ever more time with Miami Today: nearly 27 minutes per copy versus a bit more than 25 two years ago. We gained 1 minute, 24 seconds of your precious week.
And you're far more likely to read our paper at work: 61% do now, way up from 51% in 2007. During your busy day, Miami Today's news becomes a working tool.
That news had more of you passing your paper on afterwards: 2.55 persons now read the average copy, which has raised our readership weekly by more than 10,000 to 82,791 persons. Who says newspapers are dying?
The reason more of you are reading us and spending more time each week is perceived quality and credibility.
When the survey asked which of four newspapers here is best for news of government activities, 66% of you rated Miami Today at the top, up from 59% in 2007 and far ahead of second-ranked Miami Herald at 26%.
That's true in almost every category: Best in local business trends, Miami Today 62%, Miami Herald 16%; best in news of civic activities, Miami Today 59%, Miami Herald 36%; best in news of companies, Miami Today 54%, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal 19% each; best in real estate news, Miami Today 46%, Miami Herald 30%.
In a region where smaller businesses dominate, 54% of you rated us best at meeting small business needs, far up from 45% just two years ago. That's important because 47% of you work in businesses with sales volumes under $5 million and 26% own your businesses.
You also rate our credibility tops: 83% said Miami Today is high or very high, with South Florida's two largest daily papers below 50%.
Many results paralleled past years, logical because our average reader has been with us more than five years: 82% of you are managerial level or higher, two-thirds are men and one-third women, 97% are college educated and 48% have studied beyond the bachelor's degree.
The Internet, which is decimating mass market newspapers, isn't a negative for Miami Today but changes are evident.
While this survey was too early to capture our brand-new e-paper that reproduces each page of Miami Today online with sophisticated additions such as hot ad links to the Web and audio of every story for current listening or download later, it did hint at a new day.
For example, 21% of you said you read ad advertisement in Miami Today's print edition and then visited an advertiser's web site as a result.
And those who read the print edition but then took the survey online are substantially younger than our average reader.
Thanks for taking the time to complete the detailed survey. We'll go beyond these highlights of fact-filled reports independently compiled by Coral Gables-based Behavioral Science Research to tailor news coverage and our services even more carefully to your needs.
Please stay tuned, early (as early as 2 a.m. Wednesdays for the e-paper) and often. We'll strive to be an even more useful working tool for Miami's most active and successful audience.