News junkies and flunkies dividing media landscape

06 May 2015 4 min. read
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In the UK a divide is seen between news junkies, who wake up with the news, and news flunkies, who do not care for the news at all, according to Deloitte. The firm’s research shows that using a smartphone to follow the news, making it easy to consume anywhere and anytime, is especially gaining popularity among the younger more interconnected generations. Another key finding is that the newspaper, print and digital, is still one of the most popular news outlets.

Big Four firm Deloitte recently released the results of the ninth edition of media consumer research commissioned by its Media & Entertainment Practice. In the ‘Media Consumer 2015: The signal and the noise’ report, the firm researches the consummation of media, entertainment, and information by consumers between 16 and 75, based on a survey carried out among 2,000 UK consumers.

Deloitte’s research shows that in the past few years, consumer ownership of different devices has increased significantly, with the biggest increase seen in consumers owning a tablet, from 10% in 2012 to 71% in 2015. The second biggest increase is seen with ownership of smartphones, which saw an increase from 49% to 83%, and personal video recorders (PVR), increasing from 39% in 2012 to 69% in 2015.

Household ownership of devices

Of the devices UK consumers own, the desktop or laptop is still the most important one, chosen by almost half (45%) of respondents, slightly up from the 43% from last year. The smartphone has gained importance and bumped the TV from second place, with 20% chosing their mobile phone over the TV. The tablet comes in third (11%) followed by the TV (10%) and games console (3%), of which the latter two saw decreases in importance compared to last year.

Most important device to UK consumers

News junkies vs. flunkies
According to Deloitte, the advancement of smartphones, 4G coverage and social media has impacted the way UK consumers consume news. Especially the use of smartphones is gaining terrain and a divide is showing between the news junkies, reading the news headlines the moment they wake up (20%), and the news flunkies (19%), who do not pay any attention to the news. Of the people following the news, around 70% spend up to an hour each day doing so. Checking the news during the day, while on break, is particularly popular among the 16-24 (39%) and 25-34 year olds (33%).

Consuming the news via a smartphone is especially popular among the younger generations that grew up in the interconnected world of today. The smartphone is experiencing the most popularity among 25-34 year olds, of whom 40% prefer using their smartphone, followed by 16-24 year olds (33%) and 35-44 year olds (29%). Although more and more people prefer using a smartphone, the use of the TV still out wins the use of the smartphone in every generation, and its dominance when it comes to of news consumption strengthens with age.

Device preference for consuming global news

The research also shows that while different news sources are on the rise, newspapers are still one of the most used methods to consume news, either in actual print or online, with 76% of respondents choosing the newspaper for its up-to-date content, with 45% choosing the print version for that reason. Of the consumers choosing the print newspaper, 42% does so to get the best expert commentary, compared to 12% choosing Twitter for the same reason. Twitter is the more popular option to get a broad range of opinions (47%) and unique content (28%).

Reasons for using different news sources

Commenting on the results, Howard Davies, Deloitte Media Partner, says: “News consumption still remains a core part of our daily lives. The challenge for news organisations is to deliver a product which fits the demands of the British public, whether by offering personalised content or multimedia online articles and rapid updates on breaking stories. In 2015, there is an increasingly blurred distinction between news, newsfeeds and entertainment.”