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Survey shines spotlight on news consumption

September, 2012

Nearly a quarter of people (23%) now get their first daily news electronically via a tablet or smartphone.

National radio remains the most popular source for receiving first daily news (38%), but breakfast television (24%) is being strongly challenged for second spot by mobile devices, such as tablets or smartphones (23%)

Those are among the findings of a survey, undertaken by Maxim, the Tunbridge Wells-based PR and marketing agency. The survey was completed by more than 170 contacts and members of the public via the agency’s website, after it was promoted via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

“The survey is a snapshot of public behaviour. While it has to be recognised that it was completed by online-literate individuals, it does show that a significant section of the public are now actively choosing to obtain their first news fix of the day via the internet,” said Andrew Metcalf, director of Maxim.

Most likely to get it in the bedroom

When asked ‘where’ they receive their first news, nearly half (48%) of respondents admitted to getting it before they had even gone downstairs in the morning. The bedroom proved the most popular place to receive news (36%) but nearly one in ten people (9.7%) accessed it in the bathroom. The kitchen was the second most popular place (27%), to be expected given that it is a key part of the morning routine. The car (14%) was preferred over the office, which only accounted for 6.5 per cent of all respondents as the place they received their first piece of daily news.

Andrew Metcalf added: “Increasingly it looks like many of us don't like to be out of touching distance of our smartphone or tablet when it comes to receiving news, and for many searching for news will follow their first check of their email.

“The fact that one in ten of us admit to accessing news in the bathroom shows how insatiable our appetites are. Thankfully 60 per cent of those received their news via national and local radio, compared to 40 per cent who logged on via a smartphone or iPad/tablet, but the findings show how technology has changed even this most fundamental aspect of our daily routines.”

Kitchen is king for television news

National breakfast television was the preferred choice for more than one in five people (23%). Of the respondents who watched breakfast television, 37 per cent watched it in their bedroom, 45 per cent watched it in the kitchen, and the remaining 19 per cent viewed the news in the lounge.

Local television, local newspapers and national papers proved less popular, each receiving less than two per cent of the vote.

Andrew Metcalf continued: “With the possible exception of the weekend, gone are the days of the newspaper dropping through the letterbox and being leisurely consumed before we headed off to work. Only three of the 173 respondents received their first daily news in the form of a newspaper. Now we aren’t even waiting to have our first cup of coffee before trying to find out what is going on in the world.

“It is important to note that this survey was all about the ‘first’ news. While the Great British public may no longer be getting the morning headlines in print it would be wrong to assume that the daily newspaper is no longer significant as a news source.”

In terms of what these findings mean for businesses, Maxim believes it once again demonstrates how the growth of online news channels, and mobile devices, has fragmented the way in which we consume the news.

Andrew Metcalf concluded: “Targeting a company’s stories to the media is increasingly challenging and needs to take into account the importance of an ever growing number of online media outlets. The adage ‘today’s newspaper, tomorrow’s fish paper’ is no longer the case, it’s more likely to be ‘today’s newspaper, tomorrow’s recycling’. And although online news may not stay on the front page for long, it does stay there and can be referenced thanks to the likes of Google and news sites’ own archiving.”

A total of 173 individuals completed Maxim’s online survey via Survey Monkey.

For advice on the implications of the survey for businesses contact Andrew Metcalf at Maxim on 01892 513033 or e-mail hello@maxim-pr.co.uk

Andrew Metcalf - Director

Andrew Metcalf

Maxim / Director

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