This year’s report reveals new insights about digital news consumption based on a YouGov survey of over 18,000 online news consumers in the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Denmark and Finland.
This website contains data about the growth of tablets and smartphones, generational and country based differences in media usage. Also analysis on the role of impartial news in a digital world and the role of social media in finding and distributing news.
1. Most still say computers are the main way they access news
Despite many media organisations now reporting that more than half their traffic comes from mobile devices, the majority of people in every country surveyed say a computer is the main device they use for accessing news:
2. But increasingly multi-device and more mobile
However, across almost all countries studied, the report found more people are using mobile devices to access news:
It also found that more people are using more than one decvice to access news, though that trend is moving fastest in France, Germany and Japan:
3. Older users more tablet focused – young prefer smartphones
Younger generations’ preference for accessing news via smartphones rather than tablets is pretty marked, as the below chart shows:
However, the pattern is slightly different for news app usage. While 45 to 54 year olds consume the most news via tablet apps, smartphone app usage is more concentrated among those under 45
4. In the UK, apps are more popular for news on smartphones, mobile web is more popular on tablets
The report says apps are more popular for accessing news on smartphones in the UK, because they suit the smaller screen size and greater need for offline viewing. This trend is also becoming more marked over time.
In the only other country the report tracked this trend in, Finland, the reverse was true, though the report suggests this is down to the popularity of Nokia smartphones, which provide access to less advanced app stores.
It’s still worth noting, however, that the mobile web is still a lot more important on smartphones than this graph on total app vs mobile web usage suggested earier this year.
5. Movement to paid subs, but potential for paid growth patchy
More people are moving from one-off payments for digital news to more long term subscriptions, suggesting signficant scope for building a steady business from those people already prepared to pay for news. This preference for subscriptions over one-off payments is particularly marked in the UK:
That’s encouraging for titles such as the Times and the Financial TImes, yet the pool of people countries such as the UK saying they are likely to pay for news online in the future isn’t expanding at any signficant rate, suggesting there’s a limit on how much news organisations will be able to expand their subscriber bases in those countries. Nevertheless, in other places, such as Brazil, a far higher number of people say they are likely to pay for news:
6. Social age gap
There’s a big difference between younger news consumers and everyone else when it comes to how people find their news. Those in all age groups over 24 were split roughly evenly between search and going to a news brand direct, when asked to pick the main way they came across news.
However, for those under 24, search came out on top, followed by social. News brands are clearly losing their grip on younger generations.
7. Pure play variety
There’s a lot of variation between countries in how much of an impact pure-play digital sources of news are having. The below chart shows what percentage of people said they had visited either a traditonal news source or a pure-play provider in the last week. While pure-players are more popular in Japan and almost as popular in the US, in the UK and Finland people weremuch more likely to have used a tradtional news brand.
8. Twitter may be small, but it is disproportionately popular with news lovers
Twitter lages well behind Facebook and YouTube as a source of news for most people:
However, it is disproportionately popular among self-described news lovers…..
…and Twitter users are more likely to carry out various forms of interaction with news on the platform than Facebook users:
9. Barriers holding back video news consumption
Video may be the next big thing, but using it to consume news remains a minority pursuit across the board