Media Magazine

Reuters Report:  Social Media Major Source of News, but Audience Won’t Pay for Content

Posted on the 22 June 2016 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

No surprises in the 2016 edition of the Reuters Report, although

We do get reaffirmation for several of the essential items we work with in newsrooms across the world.

For example:

--Social media is where a lot of our audience comes to get the news, or to get something else but then bump into the news.

--While many publishers continue to build paywalls, the report supports what many believe: audiences are rather reluctant to pay for news content.

The good news is that people are consuming plenty of news, so if anyone can figure a way to get paid, that would be fantastic.  That is why I favor the La Presse+ approach, providing the content free but providing innovative advertising that is bringing in the money.

Highlights of the report

Social media

Half of our sample (51%) say they use social media as a source of news each week. Around one in ten (12%) say it is their main source. Facebook is by far the most important network for news.

More than a quarter of 18–24s say social media (28%) are their main source of news – more than television (24%) for the first time.

Paying for News

Most consumers are still reluctant to pay for general news online, particularly in the highly competitive English-speaking world (9% average), but in some smaller countries, protected by language, people are twice as likely to pay.

Average payments tend to be highest in the UK, the US, Australia, and in the Nordic countries – where ongoing subscriptions are common.

Important to note that the vast majority of users don’t pay for it—and most say they probably never will. 

Mobile is where the action is

-Reuters says mobile usage for news continues to increase, as it has for the past several years: More than 65% of smartphone users say they use their devices for news at least once a week, and for those under the age of 35, about 40% say the smartphone is the main way they consume news.

Despite the large numbers of users who said they got their news from Facebook, however, the Reuters report notes that people tend to come across it while they are doing other things—as opposed to a network like Twitter, where users actively go to find the news. As the study put it: “We seek news on Twitter but bump into it on Facebook.”

Go here for interactive charts from the Reuters Report:

TheMarioBlog post # 2455
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