Social Media Is Growing As A News Source, Study Says

Social media is rapidly becoming a dominant news source for American consumers, according to The U.S. Media Morph: 2024 Trend Report, a study by YouGov. 

Of the readers polled, 25% now say TV is their primary news source.  But that’s down from 31% in 2019. 

In contrast, those who rely on social media have jumped from 12% to 18%. And social has already usurped TV as the top news source for those under 34, the study says. 

At the same time, 26% of consumers are now willing to pay for access to magazine content online, up from 19% in 2019. 

But 53% feel “ads are a waste of time,” jumping from 48% in 2019. Another 46% say ads “help me choose what I buy,” but that is down from 49% in 2019.

The study also reports that streaming/on-demand TV is the fastest growing ad medium in terms of consumer attention, going from 8% in 2019 to 12% in 2023. 



Social media, while the top medium for advertising attention, has declined slightly since 2019, it continues. 

At 68%, Facebook is the most used social network. But YouTube (51%) and TikTok (26%) have seen significant growth. 

In general, 46% of Americans now spend 6+ hours per week on social media platforms. This rises to 60% among consumers aged 18-24.

WhatsApp has seen the fastest growth in usage since 2021: +9%. But it continues to lag behind Facebook Messenger.

“When it comes to media consumption, Americans are definitely changing channels – and the new favorite channels are streaming video and social,” says Ryan Gmerek, VP at YouGov America. “Americans who are 55 or older are now the heaviest live TV viewers, although they are increasingly turning to streaming and social for entertainment and news too.”


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