Six Key Research Findings on News Consumption

Generally, users consume content in a 24/7 online world, whereby they have unlimited access to news through a huge amount of info-channels like newspapers, blogs, internet radio, videos and social media communities. This leads an information consumption pattern which often leaves the reader distracted and unsatisfied.

Here are six key field study findings:

Constant News Checking.

Readers often check for new updates as a way to pass time and break boredom. It is important for news producers to learn how to keep these readers engaged in order for them to remain more loyal to a news environment.

Lifestyles Impact News Consumption.

People access news differently, in different home, work or mobile environments. It is important to understand how to deliver valuable news across these “virtually relative” environments by using sharing or search mechanisms to provide deeper access to news content and viral opportunities.

Readers Want Depth.

Readers often try to substantiate and validate stories they read but were often only given the same stories through the same source. This perpetual focus on common above-the-fold content (headlines/updates) may lead to the loss of demand and potential revenue for in-depth/premium content (below the fold).

News is Multi-tasked.

Users consume content as part of another set of tasks, meaning that they are often multi-tasking while reading news. Their attention is often diverted. The development of interactive content is a solution which addresses this.

News fatigue.

Consumers are weighed down by information overload and unsatisfying news experiences. As a result, some people are gravitating towards satirical news sources which can spin news in an attractive way. The onus is on the news publisher to reduce repetitive content and produce entertaining material which appeals to them.

News creates social currency.

People spend time reading news because they want it to help them achieve their personal needs. They view news as units of social currency to be used in interpersonal situations, whereby one might use them to sound clever, connect with friends or move up the socioeconomic ladder. Shareable information is of key importance. Successful news reportage depends on whether the content is worth sharing to another member of one’s network or not.

Apart from having strong information sources, it’s important to organize content in a way which provokes greater audience involvement.

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