We’ve said it before. Knowing where your audience lives online and how they’re consuming their news is a critical first step in making sure you’re giving them what they want, where they want it.
So how are news savvy Americans getting their news? Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism in conjunction with Localytics conducted a survey of more than 3,000 Americans on mobile devices and news consumption. The study unveiled not only are users spending more time on news apps, but also visiting more pages in one setting and returning more frequently than they do on conventional computers. Users are going to news sites more often, spending more time and reading more articles per session.
Where do readers want to receive their news? According to data from Localytics, 23% of Americans get news on at least two devices, a desktop/laptop computer and smartphone, a computer and a tablet, a tablet and a smartphone, or on all three. That’s almost a quarter of the population consuming their news content multi-platform – does that statistic surprise you?
Other interesting stats from this survey include:
70% of desktop/laptop owners surveyed report getting news on their computers
51% of smartphone owners surveyed use their phones for news
56% of tablet owners surveyed use the devices for news
Multiple device owners don’t have a single source of news
34% of desktop/laptop news consumers also get news on a smartphone
27% of smartphone news consumers also get news on a tablet
44% of people who own both smartphones and tablets use both for news;78% of those individuals still get news on their desktop or laptop as well
Image from PEJ
Understanding how consumers are interacting with news content on specific devices is only part of the challenge. Broadcasters should also look at who is interacting with news content on specific devices. The chart below breaks down the user demographic profile of mobile news consumption. For example, according to the data below, broadcasters should place an emphasis on tablet users who are high income, highly educated middle-aged individuals and consumers in the 18-29 age bracket.
Image from PEJ
Still need more proof of the digital shift from desktops/laptops to mobile? Other research firms have analyzed and predicted similar findings. Here are some other statistics related to mobile device growth.
1/3 of Marketers are already integrating mobile with their cross platform media strategy (Chetan Sharma Consulting)
In May 2012, over 10% of website page views came from a handheld mobile device (StatCounter)
By 2014, the number of smartphones sold is predicted to be twice the volume of the number of computers sold (Chetan Sharma Consulting)
Data from Chetan Sharma Consulting
What can our broadcasting affiliates take away from these findings? Grasping audience behaviors is key to optimizing revenue potential for all of your news and video content – regardless of platform or device. As Localytics suggests, news app marketers should set goals of high sessions-per-user, long session lengths, number of articles read, optimized subscription funnels, and overall engagement time.
So how does your audience compare to these national findings, any surprises? Perhaps there are some slight geo-local differences in your audience demographics that may affect how news content is consumed across platforms and devices. If so, how do your affiliate stations account for those nuances as far as optimizing news and video content? We would love to hear your feedback!