More News Consumption On All Platforms?

Whatever you might think about where Twitter and Facebook are headed, they’re definitely gaining in news content consumption.

A 2015 study from Pew Research Center says 63% of those surveyed use Twitter to get news (separate, of course, from content about family and friends). That’s 11 percentage points up from the 52% who did so two years ago.

Facebook’s rise as a source of news is even more impressive, with 63% of those surveyed saying they use Facebook to get news, versus 47% two years ago.

Even better are the results for “real-time” news consumption. Fifty-nine percent keep up with news on Twitter “as it was happening.” That number is 31% on Facebook.

Meanwhile, traditional TV news sources on three commercial broadcast networks saw good results in 2014. Evening newscast viewership grew slightly for the second year in a row, while morning newscasts saw a 2% growth in average. This followed a 7% increase in 2013.



Early evening network TV news viewership averaged 23.7 million viewers in 2014. Over the past eight years, early evening TV viewership has remain steady, averaging 22.7 million viewers. In 2008, it posted 22.9 million viewers.

In 2014, ABC and CBS had increases, but NBC saw declines. And then there is this year. We haven’t accounted yet for the upsets networks have seen due to Brian Williams' departure from “NBC Nightly News.”

While broadcast news was slightly up, cable TV news was down. Total full day median viewership for Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC combined dropped 7% in 2014 to 1.8 million viewers, according to Pew Research from Nielsen data.

What does this mean? It’s a complex picture. On the one hand, it’s another sign of fractionalized media content. But on the other, it may signal that digitally savvy consumers are perhaps carving out more time for news.

But are they better educated by having more platforms on which to watch news? That's another story.

2 comments about "More News Consumption On All Platforms?".
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  1. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, July 16, 2015 at 7:14 p.m.

    Dear Wayne,

    Thank you for consulting a reliable source like the Pew Research Center.

    So much better than the TiVo "Researh"  (i.e., Nonsense")
    used by your erstwhile colleague, J. Max Robins.


    PS It is likely I shall promote your good work today and reference the value of reporters using proper sources, as opposed to the TVEVERYWHERE dreck published yesterday.  Thanks again.

  2. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, July 16, 2015 at 11:51 p.m.

    Dear Wayne,

    You have done a better job than "you know who" in addressing a complex media use issue by using the right source and providing more qualifications.

    One could do without the speculation on whether "savvy consumers" are "better educated" by having more platforms on which to watch news.  People also read news online and on paper. That should not be overlooked by the print news the good MediaPost Publications.

    Back to "savvy consumers" ...
    These people are often "street smart" as opposed to "book bright." "Formal" education may just not matter in certain realms, but perhaps that was not the type of education you were inferring.

    Finally, while you are correct in identifying the "complex picture" that is news consumption or news media, allow me to demonstrate what we can learn by listening to or reading the sober and wise counsel of Ed Papazian (as opposed to the passionate, critical Italian Stallian called Nick "Ferrari" - - I meant "Schiavone").

    What Ed will say in his own voice, much better than I, is that the statistcal estimates you cite must be bounded by an understandable and practical time-frame.  Do you mean persons usage by minute, hour, day, week, four weeks, a quarter, a year?

    Well, you catch my snow drift ... in July 2015.  The latest bits have melted in my native Greater Boston the other day, leaving behind much debris, like J. Max Robins did yesterday.

    Oops.  I really should not write at night.  Well, it rhymes any way.

    Thanks again.

    I won't insist on a rewrite, as I have already read the actual report that you have referenced from the original source.  The link you provided was thoughtful and useful.  (Perhaps you could suggest to J. Max Robins that he provides a link to what appears to be the TiVo Research fantasy. Their DVR is the best in the world, but their research:

    "That's another story."

    Sincerely & Jocularly,

    Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC

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