The use of smartphones and tablets has jumped significantly in the past year, with fewer people using their computers for news. More than a third of online news users across all countries (39%) use two or more digital devices each week for news and a fifth (20%) now say the mobile phone is their primary access point.
The number of people paying for digital news has remained stable over the past 12 months, although we have seen a significant switch to more valuable ongoing digital subscription in most countries.
Our new (and unique) social media index for news shows Facebook is by far the most important network for news everywhere. Although Twitter is widely used in the US, Spain, and the UK, it is far less influential in many other European countries. Google+ is emerging as increasingly important for news, along with messaging application WhatsApp.
European respondents remain strongly committed to news that tries to be neutral (or impartial) but Americans are more interested in hearing from brands and reporters that are open about their own views and biases.
Traditional brands remain strong in most markets, with cross-platform newspaper reach averaging 75% in most countries, but pure players and aggregators are now more or as popular in the US, Japan, and Brazil.
US social sharing news sites like Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and Upworthy are beginning to make inroads around the world, with new formats and a fresh tone of voice aimed at younger people. Our survey shows a new category of weird news proving more/as popular than entertainment news.
Rapid Growth in Both Mobile and Tablet Use for News
Over the past year we have seen another significant jump in the adoption of both smartphones and tablets for news – as consumers embrace the benefits of smaller, personal, always-on devices. Germany and France have had a catch-up year, while others like Denmark have surged further ahead with 52% of the sample using a smartphone for news and 34% using a tablet on a weekly basis.
37% access news from smartphone each week
On average over a third of our global sample (37%) is accessing news from a smartphone each week and one in five (20%) from a tablet. In turn, this is driving more frequent access to news and from more locations."
Source: Data from Reuters' Digital News Report 2014, conducted by YouGov, released June 2014