WALTHAM, Mass. and SAN FRANCISCO, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- InkHouse and GMI, a Lightspeed Research company, today issued the results of a study revealing trends in American news consumption, specifically highlighting consumer attitudes and behaviors around reading, sharing, subscribing, paying (or in many cases not paying at all) for news.
"We live in a digital age that comes with a lot of hype around online and social media. And there should be – it's our future. But we wanted to cut through the hype to understand what is really happening when it comes to how Americans actually consume and share news today. We undertook this study to find out, and the results have important implications for communications professionals who are looking to reach their audiences through the media," said Beth Monaghan, co-founder and principal of InkHouse.
Key Trends in American News Consumption:
- TV is the big winner. Almost three quarters of Americans (73 percent) prefer to get their news from television, which also ranks first among the most trusted news outlets. Social media (23 percent) is the fifth preferred news outlet, behind news websites (52 percent), print magazines and newspapers (36 percent) and even radio (25 percent).
- Americans still read articles (a lot). More than half of Americans (60 percent) read or watch the news every day, at an average of three to 10 news stories a day. Despite vocal debates about the detriment of social media on our ability to focus, 45 percent of Americans still prefer to read an entire article to just the headlines.
- No one wants to pay for online news. Eighty-six percent of respondents believe that mobile and online news should be free. Only 10 percent of Americans pay for an online news subscription, but more than half (56 percent) pay for a print subscription.
- Americans prefer to share news via email, not social media. Email edged out social media as the preferred way to share articles (34 percent versus 29 percent).
- Press releases are trusted. Of company-generated news, respondents report trusting press releases the most (33 percent).
The data also revealed some generational differences:
- Social media gaining traction. Forty-one percent of 18-34 year olds chose social media as their preferred news source, after television and news websites.
- Social media vs. email. Not surprisingly, younger people are more likely to share news on social media: 50 percent of those ages 18 to 24 and 45 percent of those ages 24 to 35, compared to only eight percent of those 55 or older.
According to Monaghan, "The good news is that social media has not ruined our attention spans yet – Americans prefer reading full articles to just headlines. Attracting that audience is an art though. Those with great stories that can blend humor, useful information and timing just right are winning the minute-by-minute battle for hearts, minds, and of course, eyeballs."
"GMI is in the business of helping organizations understand consumers' habits and preferences. Reading and sharing the news is an area of study that changes very quickly as new technologies become available, and we were happy to support InkHouse in this important endeavor to separate hype from reality," said Jeff McCarrick, vice president at GMI Lightspeed.
To read the full survey results – including fun and surprising facts about Buzzfeed, Reddit and people's Facebook sharing likes and dislikes – check out InkHouse's eBook here: http://inkhouse.com/downloads/watch_read_tweet.pdf
An infographic illustrating the findings can be viewed here: http://www.inkhouse.net/?p=6744
These research findings are based on a survey fielded in the U.S. between January 10 and 14, 2014 asking 1,000 adults aged 18+ their habits and preferences for reading and sharing the news. The survey was completed through GMI's Global Test Market double opted in panelists who have registered to participate in online surveys. Respondents who were invited to participate in this survey were representative of adults age 18+ on age within gender, income, and region. Differential sampling was done to account for response rate differences by demographics. Quotas were also set in the survey to reflect the demographic composition of adults 18+.
InkHouse Media + Marketing is a public relations and content marketing agency serving technology, consumer, energy, real estate and financial services organizations. InkHouse provides public relations and social content services such as infographics and videos that help clients connect with prospects, customers and influencers through unique story angles and social content campaigns. Located in Waltham, Mass., and San Francisco, Calif., InkHouse was founded in 2007 and has been named an Agency of the Year by both PR News and Bulldog Reporter. Visit www.inkhouse.com for more information. Follow us on Twitter at @InkHousePR.
About GMI Research
GMI empowers insights. From intelligent sampling to award-winning survey engagement software to sample management and custom reporting, GMI adds value at every stage of the research process. With millions of deeply profiled double opt-in panelists across 40 proprietary panels throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific, and with real-time respondent sourcing and advanced sample balancing capabilities, GMI offers a wide range of respondent access in a single, trusted partner.
Along with a full suite of data collection services including specialty panels, custom panels and communities, mobile surveys, and observed digital behavior and ad tracking, GMI delivers the industry's most complete and highest-quality online research. GMI is part of Lightspeed Research, the leading provider of technology-enabled solutions and online respondents for global market research. For more information, visit www.gmi-mr.com and www.gmi-mrblog.com.