This study has been commissioned by the Reuters Institute to understand how news is being consumed in a range of countries. News is becoming more mobile, more social, and more real-time. This year’s survey reveals continuing shifts in how, when, and where people access the news, with digital patterns becoming more entrenched – particularly amongst the younger half of the population.
Audiences increasingly want news on any device, in any format, and at any time of day. But our survey reveals that the multi-platform and digital revolution is not proceeding at an even pace in all countries. What happens in the US does not necessary follow automatically in Europe or elsewhere. Geography, culture, and government policy also play their part, with Germany and France still showing strong allegiance to traditional forms of media.
We also see marked differences in ‘participatory cultures’, with very different rates of take up in social media, commenting, and voting across our surveyed countries. For traditional brands – and especially newspapers –these changes bring ever-greater competition and more disruption to business models. But this year’s survey offers some signs of hope for those investing in original news content. More people say they've paid for digital news in the past 10 months and we have data for the first time about the types and frequency of digital payment. Traditional brands continue to attract the largest online audiences and we find that trust in news brands remains uniquely valued by young and old.