Commentary

Breaking News Is Digital For 80% of Internet Users

According to a new study from the Newspaper Association of America, conducted by ComScore, the audience engaged with newspaper digital content reached a new peak in August 2014, rising 18% to 164 million unique visitors (adults 18+) from 139 million in August 2013. That audience level was 25 million larger than a year ago.

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Newspaper Digital Audience (Millions of Unique Visitors 18+; August 2013 - August 2014)

2013

Visitors (MM)

   Aug

139

   Sep

141

   Oct

142

   Nov

148

   Dec

147

2014

   Jan

146

   Feb

145

   Mar

161

   Apr

155

   May

153

   Jun

155

   Jul

157

   Aug

164

Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014

Additional data from the study also revealed that:

  • 80% of U.S. adults who were online in August accessed newspaper digital content, also a new peak.
  • Over the past year, young women (ages 18-24) were the fastest-growing segment of the newspaper digital audience, rising 38%.
  • 92% of women ages 25-34 read newspaper digital content, the greatest reach among any age or gender.
  • Those who use only mobile devices, smartphones or tablets, to access newspaper digital media now exceed those who use only desktop/laptop computers and those who used both kinds of machines during the month.

Along with the rise in unique visitors, the proportion of the total online audience reached by newspaper digital platforms has grown. Eight in 10 adults engaged with newspaper digital content in August 2014. That compares with a reach of two-thirds (65%) of adults in June 2013.

The reach of newspaper digital content was highest among those ages 25-34. More than eight in 10 are also reached in the 35-44 and 45-54 age segments. Both the oldest group (55+) and the youngest group (18-24) have lower reach.

Net Reach by Age Group (Newspaper Digital Audience; August 2014)

Age Group

Digital Audience

18-

0%

18+

80%

25-34

85%

35-44

82%

45-54

81%

55+

77%

Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014

A more detailed look at the net reach by probing age and gender together sheds additional light on the newspaper digital audience. The fastest-growing segment of the newspaper digital audience over the past 12 months has been with young women, age 18-24, which increased 38%. The groups next highest in growth were men 35-44 and men 45-54, which rose 31% each.

The number of older women, those age 55 and over, using newspaper digital content increased by 21%, above the overall gain reflected in the total adult figure (+18%).

% Change in Unique Visitors by Age & Gender (Newspaper Digital Audience; August 2014 vs. August 2013)

Segment

Digital Audience

Adults

18%

Men

   18-24

43%

   25-34

16%

   35-44

31%

   45-54

31%

   55+

10%

Women

   18-24

38%

   25-34

18%

   35-44

9%

   45-54

8%

   55+

21%

Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014

 Different growth rates for age and gender segments over time translate into different levels of net reach for newspaper digital media enterprises. Newspaper digital media have the highest reach among women ages 25-34, with more than nine in 10 (92%) engaged with that content in August 2014.

Net Reach by Age & Gender (Newspaper Digital Audience; August 2014)

Group

Digital Audience

Adults

80%

Men

   18-24

71%

   25-34

78%

   35-44

84%

   45-54

86%

   55+

81%

Women

   18-24

73%

   25-34

92%

   35-44

80%

   45-54

76%

   55+

74%

Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014

Mobile devices are clearly providing a significant boost to the newspaper digital audience, says the report. Those who use only mobile devices for their newspaper digital access more than doubled in the past year, with their unique visitor count rising 102%. In contrast, the audience that uses only desktop or laptop machines for newspaper digital access dropped by 16%.

US Digital Newspaper Audience Growth (% Change vs. Previous Year)

Audience

% Growth From Previous Year

Total Digital Audience

+18%

Mobile only

+102%

Desktop/laptop only

-16%

Both

+48%

Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014

As a result of the large increase among those using only mobile for newspaper digital access, that group is now the biggest piece of the three segments, representing 38% of the total. The desktop/laptop group is 34% of the total and those who use both kinds of access platforms are 28% of the total, explains the report.

Young women 18-24 are the segment with the largest increase in using only mobile devices for their newspaper digital access. Compared with August 2013, the number of young women engaged with newspaper digital content only via mobile surged 204%.

Percent Change, Unique Visitors by Age & Gender (Mobile-Only Newspaper; Digital Audience August 2014 vs. August 2013)

Group

Digital Audience

Adults

102%

Men

   18-24

59%

   25-34

119%

   35-44

188%

   45-54

163%

    55+

60%

Women

   18-24

204%

   25-34

80%

   35-44

53%

   45-54

81%

   55+

122%

Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014

 For access to the complete report from ComScore, please visit here.

 

1 comment about "Breaking News Is Digital For 80% of Internet Users".
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  1. Susan O from Elegant MicroWeb, November 12, 2014 at 11:17 a.m.

    If businesses are not convinced that the world is now available online, these statistics should help them understand the reality. For businesses that sell to and relate to users and consumers online, this is also an important fact. At Elegant MicroWeb, we find that our clients are more savvy about online business today but many businesses fail to see the reality of what is happening in business markets. The bottom line is that most people get their news, information, products and services by browsing or shopping online, so if business managers are not actively integrating marketing campaigns and creating mobile, responsive sites and applications to serve today's sophisticated technology users, they will suffer the loss of revenue and customers.

    http://www.elegantmicroweb.com/capability/tc/mobile-tablet/application-development.htm and http://www.elegantmicroweb.com/capability/tc/responsive-web-design.htm

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