Monday, July 09, 2012

Reuters Institute's first Digital Report on how news is being consumed

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford has released its Reuters Institute Digital Report 2012, the first in what's expected to be a long-term series of studies on how people consume news in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and Denmark. The bottom line is that Europe isn't as far along as the U.S. in its transition to digital media--and there's big differences between European countries. However, tablets in particular are accelerating the adoption of digital news. Here are some of the findings:
  • Daily consumption of any kind of news (print, television, radio or online) generally increases with age in Germany, Denmark, the U.S. and France, with the highest rates of consumption in Germany and Denmark. 
  • The U.K. is the only country where news consumption generally decreases with age, with peak consumption in the 25 to 34 year old group.

  • Germany is #1 for access of news by TV, print and radio, but is at the bottom of the list for online access to news. 
  • The U.S. is the mirror image of Germany: #1 for access of news online, but at the bottom of the list for access by television, print and radio. 
  • The U.S. is the only country where less than half the respondents (45%) said that they got news via print at least once a week. 

  • The most popular online source of news for U.K. residents is broadcaster websites (primarily the BBC.) 
  • Newspaper websites are the most popular online source of news for residents of Germany, Denmark and France. 
  • Other digital news sources (non-broadcast, non-newspaper) are the most popular sources in the U.S., closely followed by newspaper websites. 
  • Social media and blogs are about twice as popular as a source of news in the U.S. than they are in European countries. 

  • PCs remain by far the most popular devices for accessing the news digitally in every country measured. 
  • Mobile phones were used by 32% of respondents from Denmark to access news, followed by 28% in both the U.K. and U.S. 
  • Tablets were used to access news by 13% of respondents from Denmark and 11% from the U.S. No other country had more than 8%. 
  • eReaders were used to access digital news by only 3% of U.S. respondents, and no more than 1% in any other country, suggesting that efforts to get newspapers and magazines onto black & white eReaders are a waste of time and money. 

Tablets are having a positive impact on news consumption in the U.K.:
  • 58% of tablet users access news from the device every week (68% accessed news via tablet at least once in the last month) 
  • Tablet owners access more news sources than other online users. 
  • 44% of tablet users say that the device provides a better experience for news than a traditional computer. 
  • Tablet owners are significantly more likely to pay for news. 
That last point is important, because only 12% of all Danish respondents said that they had ever paid for digital news content, followed by 9% of U.S. respondents, 8% from France, 6% from Germany and just 4% from the U.K.

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