News-seekers spend significant time using apps, but news organizations need to
understand the users to maximize the benefits.
Part one of this series provides a snapshot of mobile news access across sites, apps and
social networking platforms. The data show that a fundamental shift has happened toward
accessing news via mobile — and that the landscape continues to evolve. Adapting to and
leveraging the opportunities in these evolving audience trends in news behavior is
critical to any news organization’s survival
NEWS MOBILE APP USE TO ACCESS INFORMATION
• There is a substantial audience for mobile news. Nearly the entire population of adult
mobile users consume news on their devices, and more users are spending news time on social
• While mobile users only spend 5 percent of mobile time on news, on average, the time they
do spend includes “hard” news about current events and global news, as opposed to routine
weather reports and other forms of “soft” news.
• Mobile users who access news through apps spend more time reading the content, but the
overall audience for apps is small, so it’s essential to know who those users are.
• Social media sites and apps are important sources of news for social media users,
although television remains their top source. However, social media users also depend
on friends, contacts and individuals they follow as trusted news sources as much as or more
than they depend on media outlets.
• Mobile news users active on social networks do not just passively engage with news
content but take offline action related to the content.
Audience size and time spent reading news on mobile
Million people access news and
information via their mobile device. While analysis of the mobile news audience shows that it
had grown 9 percent from the previous year, but the increase has recently slowed,
suggesting that the mobile news audience is reaching a plateau.
Why develop a news app?
News-seekers spend significant time using apps, but news organizations need to understand
the users to maximize the benefits.
As Figure 10 illustrates, entertainment news dominates social networking news consumption and
patterns of news consumption are similar across Facebook, Twitter and Google+. However,
consumption patterns diverge on Instagram and LinkedIn. LinkedIn, for example, is highly
accessed by news-seekers looking for tech and financial/business news whereas Instagram’s
content on lifestyle dominates.
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