BBC World News and BBC.com/news released the results of the largest international study yet on the consumption of news in the digital age. The study, by InSites Consulting, surveyed more than 3,600 owners of digital devices in Australia, Singapore, India, UAE, South Africa, Poland, Germany, France and the US in order to determine the growing impact of TV, smartphones, tablets and laptops on people’s news consumption habits. Survey participants were top income earners and owners of at least three devices amongst television, tablet, smartphone and laptop/desktop.
The survey found that, rather than competing, different platforms complement one another allowing people to layer their device usage throughout the day. Smartphones and laptops are most popular throughout the working day, peaking at around 1pm. TV usage spikes dramatically from 5pm onwards, and at its peak time of 7pm TV use is 50 per cent higher than for any other device.
The survey also found that, in breaking news situations, users turn to television as their primary and first device (42 per cent), with the majority (66 per cent) then turning to the internet to investigate stories further. Users rated national and international news of most importance (84 per cent, 82 per cent), closely followed by local news (79 per cent). Financial and business news (61 per cent) were more highly valued than news about sports (56 per cent) and arts/entertainment news (43 per cent).
Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News said: “Avid news consumers are hungry for information wherever they are and expect to stay in touch on all the devices they now own. There’s been speculation for years that mainstream uptake of smartphones, laptops and tablets will have a negative impact on television viewing, but this study has found that the four devices actually work well together, resulting in greater overall consumption rather than having a cannibalising effect.”
Key findings include: Second screening for news is becoming commonplace, with users often using devices in tandem. 83 per cent of tablet users say they have used their tablets while watching television.
TV still dominates overall usage, taking 42 per cent of people’s news consumption time compared with laptops (29 per cent), smartphones (18 per cent) and tablets (10 per cent).
News audiences expect to see advertising nearly as much on mobile (79 per cent tablet, 84 per cent smartphone) as they do on TV (87 per cent) and online (84 per cent).
People respond to advertising across all the screens, with 1 in 7 users indicating they responded to a mobile ad in the last four weeks whilst responses to TV and desktop are 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 respectively.