REPORT: The rise of social and mobile news and ad blocking

Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2016

Publishers around the world are facing unprecedented disruption to their business models and formats, states the Digital News Report 2016. The report is published by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Growth of social platforms and blocking advertising

Social media platforms are growing as news sources. Half of the respondents use social media as news sources every week and for 12 per cent it is their main source.

From a business point-of-view, things are not looking very bright. “Across our 26 countries, we see a common picture of job losses, cost-cutting, and missed targets as falling print revenues combine with the brutal economics of digital in a perfect storm”, states Nic Newman in the overview of the report.

One of the problems in the digital news business is the rise of ad blockers. In different countries, a portion of 10 to 38 per cent of respondents are using ad blocking, but the number is higher among younger users. On mobile, around 8% use blockers.

Willingness to pay for and trust in news

Most consumers are reluctant to pay for news online. Average payments tend to be highest in the UK, the US, Australia, and in the Nordic countries – where ongoing subscriptions are common.

Trust in the news in highest in Finland (65%) and lowest in Greece (20%).

Young people are more comfortable with algorithmic selection of news than with editors. The authors state concerns that personalised news and more algorithms will mean missing out on important information or challenging viewpoints.

The 124-page report analyses 26 countries based on 50 000 people surveyed. It includes further analysis and international comparisons, along with essays from prominent figures in media internationally. The report is edited by Nic Newman, Richard Fletcher, David A. L. Levy and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen.

You can browse the report’s website here or download the report as a pdf.

Picture: Cover of the report, Reuters Institute

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