Viewers Favor Visuals In News Stories, Especially Millennials

Multimedia news articles are more important than ever to attract audiences, according to a new study from Arkadium, a provider of interactive content for publishers to increase audience engagement.

Audiences are more likely to trust news stories with visuals, and return to news sites if they “regularly” incorporate visuals in their editorial, the study found.

In fact, people are 71% more likely to return if the news sites use video or images, and 60% more likely to trust articles with visuals. When broken down by age brackets, those numbers go up to 82% and 71% for millennials, respectively.

“Visual media even influences a reader’s trust component, according to our data,” stated Jessica Rovello, CEO and cofounder of Arkadium.

The study also found that nearly 80% of audiences will click on news if it includes visuals, and 78% are likely to continue reading if the article contains visuals.

“Studies confirm that visual media, compared to text, is simply more eye-catching online,” added Rovello. “Our data suggests that pairing a news headline with an image or video is much more likely to drive reader engagement and click-throughs.”



While the study found that most people are getting their news from TV (69%), millennials -- a digital-first generation -- were more likely to get their news online (82%). “In comparison, older generations were much more likely to get news from TV, radio and print,” Rovello sated.

While only 37% cited wanting more interactive content in their news media, 48% of millennials wanted more.

The numbers explain publishers' racing to adopt augmented reality and virtual reality technology to produce more interactive video news content, as well as the growing trend of publishers investing heavily in video production to meet advertisers' demand for the format.

The study polled more than 1,000 people online in the U.S. between September 4-11. Arkadium partnered with Toluna, a research organization, to field the survey to a randomized panel of participants to choose participants.

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